HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has called on the population, including young people, to suppress their instinct to be social.
He was speaking Wednesday at the Health Ministry's covid19 media conference.
Deyalsingh congratulated RC Archbishop The Most Rev Jason Gordon who, during a recent homily, made a direct appeal to the youth of TT to show restraint and follow the covid19 guidelines.
"Restraint is what we (ministry officials) have been asking for since day one."
He called on other leaders, including trade unionists and NGO leaders, to join with the ministry and Gordon calling for restraint to be the order of the day.
"We will save more lives and have livelihoods to come back to. Things will get better but we must sacrifice now for a better day ahead."
He said the majority of the people are responsible when it comes to following the covid19 guidelines, but it only took one person having a birthday party at home or going to an underground party or "zesser fete" to spread the virus.
"We are asking that one person for restraint, because that is how you get exponential growth and not achieve the country objective of moving from community spread to cluster spread."
He reiterated that young people (ages 25-49) have played a part in driving the country's second wave of infections, though not the only driving force. He added this was not only the case in TT but around the world.
"We understand that young persons are being placed under a lot of pressure to give up their lifestyle. They want to date. They want to party. It's what young people do. We understand that. We are not immune to that fact."
He said it was a time that called for restraint from everyone.
"All I do is work and go home. That's all I do. A treat for me is going to buy doubles on an evening. That is an outing for me – or going to get a gyro at Curepe Junction. That is an outing for me now. It's work and home."
He added: "We have to depress our natural instincts as social creatures to be social, whether it's going out to an underground party or inviting people to your homes or a little drink up or whatever."
Deyalsingh stressed, to have a brighter tomorrow the country must "invest" in an attitude change today.
He reported only 0.24 per cent of the population is positive for covid19.
"It means 99.76 (per cent) of the population is free of the virus, and that is good news. What we are trying to do is keep that rate as low as possible."
Comparatively, the US has about 2.58 per cent of its population as active covid19 positive cases.
He stressed, to keep the infection rate as low as possible there needs to be a partnership between the citizenry and the Government in observing the simple guidelines and regulations.
"We are still seeing people in cars, three and four people, with no masks, or the masks down by their chins. Don't wait to get charged. Don't wait for the heavy hand of the law to affect you financially to get you to do these simple things. Doing the right, simple things will have serious benefits for us."
Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram reported, of the patients positive for covid19 80-85 per cent have mild symptoms and were recovering well at home. Deyalsingh said this news would not grab the population's attention.
"What grabs their attention is the mortality figure."
A total of 57 people have died so far from covid19.