Deeply concerned about the rising number of covid19-related deaths and new infections, THA Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis has appealed to Tobagonians to take the vaccine.
The Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development reported on Wednesday that Tobago had 13 covid19-related deaths, six new cases and 161 active cases.
Addressing the post-executive council media briefing at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, Scarborough, Dennis argued the vaccines that are currently available to citizens – Sinopharm and Oxford Astra-Zeneca – will at least ensure citizens are able to live with the virus.
Dennis revealed he got his first shot of the Sinopharm vaccine last week Thursday.
“I want to encourage all persons, especially those that are particularly vulnerable as a result of comorbidities or NCDs (non-communicable diseases), those who are obese and those who may be at risk for whatever reason, to please sign up and get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” he said.
Dennis, who claimed he had no side effects, said while the number of vaccines may be limited, Tobago will get its fair share when they are available.
“Therefore, I am saying to the people of Tobago to get registered. Sign up and get in line to be vaccinated.
“It is the only way for us to be able to live with this virus as we have been able to live with other diseases previously, through the same method of vaccinating the population.”
For those still experiencing misgivings about the vaccines, Dennis said the THA will embark on an initiative to inform and educate the population “on the truths and facts about the vaccines that are available.”
He said the aim is to ensure that Tobago has herd immunity so that it can resume some level of normality.
Reflecting on the number of deaths and new infections in Tobago, Dennis said the effects of the virus are “hitting home.”
He recalled in previous news conferences, he had spoken about the virus in a global context.
“But within recent times, of course, statistics can now be narrowed down to names, names here in Tobago can be narrowed down to faces, and faces are, in fact, being narrowed down to personal experiences and relationships.”
With a population of only 60,000, Dennis said: “Every single death is going to cause tremendous pain and tremendous hardship not only to families but to residents generally on the island.”
He urged people to be responsible.
“I want to appeal to every single Tobagonian and every citizen of this country that in addition to what the Government will do and continue to do, in addition to all the social support mechanisms and all the restrictions, laws, rules and regulations that are aimed at protecting us through restricted movement – in addition to all of that, the most important thing that we can do at this point in time is to manage ourselves responsibly.”