UNC, PNM: We’re following rules on campaign trail

Foster Cummings, PNM candidate for La Horquetta Talparo, shakes hands with a La Horquetta resident during a unity walk on Sunday. - ROGER JACOB
Foster Cummings, PNM candidate for La Horquetta Talparo, shakes hands with a La Horquetta resident during a unity walk on Sunday. - ROGER JACOB

THE two main political parties on Wednesday claimed to be taking proper precautions on their walkabouts against any spread of covid19.

This was after the Ministry of Health’s disclosure of a case of local transmission of the virus (along with two imported cases) since Tuesday.

Newsday asked if the parties would adopt any new and more stringent steps, but they each basically indicated they were satisfied with the measures already in place.

Newsday spoke to PNM general secretary Foster Cummings, who is running for the La Horquetta/Talparo seat, and UNC deputy leader David Lee, who is defending his Pointe-a-Pierre seat.

Cummings said, “We’ll continue to advise all our supporters to abide by all the protocols, that is, social distancing, and to wear their face mask and to sanitise regularly.

“We do that routinely, but now we will of course reinforce that position.”

Newsday sought his views on how well or not covid19 precautions were being obeyed. on the bassi of photos and videos of various politicians posted online.

“No, I’d just stick to the initial comment I made, that we will continue to reinforce, as we have been doing, and advise our supporters to take very seriously the precautions issued by the Chief Medical Officer (Dr Roshan Parasram).”

Newsday asked Cummings if, as a candidate, he ever felt he was partly obscured on meeting constituents by wearing his mask, and restricted by not being able to shake their hands at will.

He replied, “I think that people understand. People understand the restrictions we are under. So this is, what they call it, the new normal. We have to adjust accordingly.”

He was asked how candidates handled the temptation to physically reach out and touch constituents, as one South Trinidad PNM candidate was seen doing in his Facebook videos.

Cummings replied, “Maybe you should give them a call.”

Newsday was unable to contact the high-profile candidate, who is defending his marginal seat.

Newsday asked Lee if the UNC was satisfied with its covid19 precautions on walkabouts, or intended to step them up, given the latest cases of infection.

Lee said the party will maintain the precautions it has been following so far, and add more.

“We will take extra precautions, given what was stated by the Minister of Health, especially in my campaign. I’ll ensure there is the proper social distancing and the masks are worn and all of that. “But by and large we’ve been fairly safe in respect of the protocols we’ve been following. We’ll take these precautions we’ve been doing all along.

“But that would not stop us from campaigning. We’ll continue our campaign.”


"UNC, PNM: We’re following rules on campaign trail"

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