ATTORNEY Prakash Ramadhar has once again lashed out at the government for what he says is a lack of clarity on the process for having citizens allowed home and quarantined.
Ramadhar issued an elaborate statement on Wednesday, describing the manner with which citizens have been treated as "an embarrassment, both locally and internationally."
He said he was writing for those who wish to have returned home but were not allowed to enter.
"Many are now asking, what are the criteria that have been used to allow some to enter and to deny others?"
He said, "As I try to forget the boasts of 1000 available beds, now diminished dramatically, and whilst we appreciate that you cannot undo the incompetence and uncaring of the past when those beds were not used, what do we do into the future?
"As I now try very hard to forget the emptiness of those places that were made available that we, the citizens, paid for that were kept empty; I cannot forget Takeisha in the BVI who lost her three-month-old fetus. Aborted in a foreign land without family or friends because of the stress that was put upon her. Indeed, to have heard that she had to be pulled away from the ocean as she attempted in her desperation and in the moment of anguish to walk to Trinidad."
He went on to give several other instances of people in emotional and/or physical distress, who were not granted approval to enter TT.
"I cannot forget all those citizens who have reached out to me from all corners of the globe and who made efforts to reach out to our ministry, our high commissions and embassies and were met either with no response or totally helpless responses.
"We are hearing now, not the 200,000 or 300,000 who would have ‘bombarded’ our shores, but many thousands less, an estimate of maybe 7,000; we have never heard the actual number or how they came about those numbers. But assuming there are 7,000, it pains me as a citizen today to hear now that we do not have the capacity."
He also directed comments to the Prime Minister, saying, "(PM), I know that you must deal with the situation. Could I suggest then, two things.
"One, that as I referenced before, the hotel rooms that we, the citizens of TT are paying for to help upgrade those hotels, to make them available as quarantine locations for our citizens. That in Trinidad we locate more such facilities and it is always open and has always been open to us to allow persons to home quarantine.
He suggested citizens return, do their tests and once they show no symptoms, be allowed to quarantine at home with the necessary security protocols.
"But I know many are afraid of that," he added. "So as an alternative, I say state-quarantine, yes. But expand the capacity to do so.
"Two, if you are to believe that our citizens should not return to our shores, why then could we not make an arrangement for those who can get their way to Barbados, as one example, let them go there. Could we not have a government-to-government arrangement where we can have subsidised hotel facilities there to allow them to quarantine with a proper protocol so that when their quarantine is finished then there is no reason or excuse for not allowing them to come to T&T which is a 45-minute flight away?"
"Could we not have a more humane approach and find solutions rather than to create obstacles?"