Tobago authorities to work more closely with police to deter crowds

File photo of police officers during a road traffic exercise in April in Mt Irvine, Tobago. - Photo by David Reid
File photo of police officers during a road traffic exercise in April in Mt Irvine, Tobago. - Photo by David Reid

The Tobago House of Assembly Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development will be collaborating even more with the police in the upcoming weeks to enforce the covid19 health regulations.

On Friday, the division reported there were 62 active covid19 cases in Tobago, the largest number since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March 2020.

Addressing the division’s virtual health briefing on Friday, Secretary of Heath, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine said the measures that are already in place to prevent the spread of the virus must be enforced.

In this regard, she said the division will embark on a multi-pronged approach over the next few weeks.

“We are focused on greater collaboration with the TTPS to assist in enforcing regulations as much as is possible, especially those as it relates to the wearing of masks and those as it relates to quarantine,” she said.

Davidson-Celestine said people must be responsible.

“There have been challenges all around with people who do not want to quarantine, people who are not wearing their masks and in some instances, people who are not wearing the masks appropriately.

“We are of the view that we must collaborate effectively with the police so that we can minimise those circumstances because at the end of the day we are very focussed on preserving lives as much as is possible.”

At a media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, on Friday, the Prime Minister called on Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to ensure the police use a heavy hand to prevent people from gathering as the country battles the covid19 virus.

Dr Rowley observed people were still congregating unnecessarily in the midst of an already high death and infection rate.

Griffith subsequently said there will be increased foot and mobile patrols.

At the division’s health briefing, Davidson-Celestine said while the number of active covid19 cases in Tobago is cause for concern, “at the same time it is not a reason for us to panic.”

“In this particular exercise, we must be very focused, we must be very level-headed and most importantly, we must allow for a very informed and reasoned approach to how we treat with this fight.

“I am of the opinion, and we in the health care and the division are of the opinion, that the battle can be won.”

Davidson-Celestine said while the island will not escape unscathed, “We can survive the battle.

“And so the call is now for vigilance, which is required now more than ever.”

Davidson-Celestine also warned Tobagonians against gathering at supermarkets, pharmacies and banks.

She said there is no shortage of food on the island.

“I want to remind the members of the public that on this island and I am sure in the country, there is really no shortage of food. So there is no reason to create unnecessarily long lines at the pharmacy, no reason to create an unnecessarily long line even at the banks or even at the supermarkets, because those are regarded as essential services and they will continue to be open until the time that we believe that opening them would be a detriment to our lives.

“And so I am calling on the members of the public to not gather at the supermarkets and those services that are currently open, because it can be to the detriment of all of us.”

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