Opposition supports SoE, but maintains: "It is a knee-jerk reaction to covid19"

Dr Rishad Seecheran -
Dr Rishad Seecheran -

The Opposition said it supports anything that will work in the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and would get the country out of the crisis it is in.

Opposition MPs Dr Rishad Seecheran and Davendranath Tancoo made this statement in relation to the state of emergency announced by the Government to combat the surging covid19 cases.

The Opposition MPs addressed issues of vaccines and the SoE at the Opposition’s weekly press conference on Sunday.

Tancoo said it was uncertain what the specific parameters of the SoE were and had not seen the regulations yet.

The Prime Minister announced the SoE on Saturday, with a curfew running from 9 pm -5 am.

Tancoo said he believed the Government did not have a plan and this was a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic surge.

“But we continue to support and will support any initiative that will TT get out of the hole that we are in,” Tancoo said.

Seecheran reminded the public that Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar wrote to the Prime Minister in March last year requesting an urgent meeting with the Government to discuss “the social, medical and economic impact of the current coronavirus pandemic on TT.”

A year later, the Opposition was still waiting, he said.

Addressing the issues of vaccines, Seecheran said the Opposition is pro-vaccination and he has always been an advocate of vaccine procurement.

“Vaccinating our public in mass numbers is the only way in which we can reach herd immunity and can be released from the grip of the coronavirus.

“Vaccination is the only way in which our schools can reopen, our businesses to restart and for many of us to return to a life of normalcy,” he said.

He encouraged all citizens to take any of the World Health Organisation (WHO)-approved vaccines available through the Ministry of Health.

“We in the Opposition will continue to work to get the country safely vaccinated,” Seecheran said.

Seecheran quoted from a May 7 Bloomberg article which said Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla said that low- and middle-income countries had opted not to order its covid19 vaccine last year when it was available for purchase.

Seecheran asked the Prime Minister if Bourla or any of his agents reached out to him to place a pre-order in 2020 pending WHO approval.

He said had TT pre-ordered Pfizer vaccines, they would have been reserved and then shipped to TT on WHO approval.

“Pfizer’s CEO has also announced that 40 per cent of its doses, or more than one billion shots, will go to middle- and low-income countries in 2021. Pfizer is on track to deliver three billion doses this year to more than 116 countries,” Seecheran said.

Seecheran also called on National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds to introduce more protective measures, including personal protective equipment to all frontline police, and to formulate a covid19 safety protocol for apprehending and detaining illegal Venezuelan migrants.


"Opposition supports SoE, but maintains: "It is a knee-jerk reaction to covid19""

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