PM to chair Cabinet meeting Thursday

Dr Keith Rowley
Dr Keith Rowley

Although he has contracted covid19, the Prime Minister is expected to chair Thursday’s Cabinet meeting virtually from Tobago.

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), in a statement on Wednesday, said Dr Rowley, 71, is also expected to meet virtually with Maarten Wetselaar, director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions at Shell Global and Eugene Okpere, president and county chair of Shell Trinidad and Tobago.

Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Franklin Khan and National Security Minister Stuart Young are expected to attend.

The OPM gave no further details about the nature of the talks.

A statement on the PM’s Facebook page on Tuesday said he tested positive for covid19 and is in isolation.

It added Rowley, who was in Tobago during the Easter weekend, began experiencing flu-like symptoms on Monday and was subsequently tested for covid19.

He was scheduled to take the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday at the Scarborough Health Centre in Bacolet, Tobago as part of the national rollout, but this was cancelled after his diagnosis.

An OPM statement early on Wednesday said Rowley remains in isolation and under the supervision of medical personnel in Tobago.

“The necessary health protocols are being observed as it relates to the prime minister’s care,” it said.

The OPM said his vital signs are all stable and he remains in good spirits.

“The prime minister and his family wish to thank all those who have expressed ‘get-well wishes’ and continue to pray for his well-being.”

Despite his diagnosis, the OPM said Rowley is fulfilling his responsibilities as head of Government and Caricom chairman.

On Wednesday, he had a conference call with US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services. The OPM said Rowley and Waters engaged in successful talks.

It said the meeting was a follow-up to discussions held on March 25, where they discussed matters of mutual interest, including access to covid19 vaccines, Venezuela, Haiti and other Caricom-related issues.

Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne and TT Ambassador to Caricom Frances Seignoret had also attended the meeting.

Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis said he too is in high spirits after having been exposed to a primary contact of a recent covid19 case on Good Friday.

“I feel as good as gold,” he told Newsday.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Dennis said while his exposure to the primary contact was minimal and mask-wearing and physical distancing were practised during the interaction, he still decided to get tested.

He said although the initial test results came back negative, he will remain in self-isolation until after April 16 when the designated two-week quarantine period expires.

In the meantime, Dennis said he would continue to work from home through virtual meetings and other forms of communication.


"PM to chair Cabinet meeting Thursday"

More in this section