Stuart: Not easy to read pleas for exemptions

Stuart Young -
Stuart Young -

MINISTER of National Security Stuart Young spelt out how hard it was to read letters from families begging for their loved ones to be allowed an exemption from the TT border lockdown to return to TT from overseas during the ongoing covid19 pandemic.

He spoke on Friday in the House of Representatives on an Opposition motion urging bipartisan efforts in the country’s recovery from the pandemic.

"It is not easy receiving the e-mail every single day, the messages every day from people pleading, 'My son is here, my daughter is there.' Persons who are sick, who are ill.

"And to hold the line, knowing we are managing our healthcare system and our quarantine, our State quarantine system." Young said TT was one of the top five nations for handling covid19.

“This is not an easy situation for anyone. This is not an easy situation for any member of Government.

"It is not an easy situation for the Minister of National Security to have to read literally hundreds of requests for exemption. A parent saying their children are here. We are getting requests from Russia, from India, from Australia, Central America, South America, but knowing that ultimately the duty we had to carry out was to protect the population in TT.”

Young said covid 19 was imported, so the borders had to be shut and no amount of lobbying could have changed that.

“So the nationals on the cruise ship, as I said earlier today, every single one will be allowed to return, but in a managed process.” He said he had spent the afternoon communicating with cruise ship owners to help work out who would be the first TT nationals working on-board to be allowed in to TT.

While warning covid19 could exist among the population and could become imported with people entering TT, he said TT is one of the few countries that could say today it now has no positive cases identified. He rejected the Opposition’s that TT has no community testing, saying this has been going on for weeks.

“The people of TT stand proud here today knowing each one of them played their own personal part in getting us where we are today that we can stand and say we have no current positive cases of covid19 in TT and that itself is a remarkable achievement.” Young rejected the Opposition motion that the Government had mishandled the covid19 pandemic.

Alleging the Opposition wants TT to be burdened by sanctions, he accused them of a false narrative that Iranian ships are coming to TT, presumably referring to oil tankers.

While Young has been under pressure over the visit of Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, he earlier in the sitting got a strong endorsement from Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh for . for working with him to curb covid19. Deyalsingh said he appreciated Young, whether or not the country or anyone else appreciated him.

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