A WhatsApp message circulating which claims that Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram is purported to have said that Trinidad and Tobago's borders could be closed until 2022 because of a virulent new strain of covid19 is false.
The statements were attributed to Parasram after he spoke at the Local Authorities, Service Commissions and Statutory Authorities Joint Select Committee on Wednesday.
On reviewing the broadcast of the JSC cited in the WhatsApp message, Newsday determined that the CMO did not mention a date as to when borders would be opened or closed. He said the subcommittee to reopen the borders had a rolling date to consider reopening the borders.
“We thought a staggered approach could be taken for countries listed as having no cases and sporadic cases. We could have reopening of the borders to those countries in the first instance where we would have said you had to have been in the country for 14 days or more before coming to Trinidad.
"With what has happened with the new strain, we have seen a spike in many countries – US, UK, Canada, Australia and across Europe – which has put a damper on how we were planning to reopen the border.
"Of course the ultimate decision lies with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, but we will make our recommendations based on looking at the new strain.”
The video can be found on the Parliament's YouTube channel titled 3rd Meeting - JSC LASCSA - January 6, 2021 - covid safety practices at Airports Authority https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBGmGtwGqHc