Health secretary urges Tobago: Be more responsible

Kevon Otley, left, Lester Thomas, centre, and Mensa Pollard enjoy a lime at Bayside Beer Garden, Esplanade, Scarborough, recently.  - David Reid
Kevon Otley, left, Lester Thomas, centre, and Mensa Pollard enjoy a lime at Bayside Beer Garden, Esplanade, Scarborough, recently. - David Reid

Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine has implored Tobagonians to be more responsible after the state of emergency (SoE) ended on Wednesday night.

At a news conference on Thursday, Davidson-Celestine said the revocation of the SoE is not a licence to have fetes and parties. She said while the withdrawal gives a level of freedom, people must be cognisant that covid19 is still present, and there could be significant challenges going forward.

“There would be more movement, and with movement there is a higher chance of the virus spreading as a result.

"But what we are more concerned with is that we do not have any significant untoward circumstances resulting in death of the people of this island. We could prevent that if it is we’re vaccinated – and fully vaccinated – and those vaccines are readily available in all of the communities.”

She said individuals must now exercise responsibility to protect their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones.

On Wednesday, the division reported a huge spike in cases.

“I was very concerned when I saw 67 cases, and there is a high possibility with the SoE lifted that we can trend up to 100 cases on a daily basis – but we don’t have to die and we don’t have to access the state resources if it is that we’re fully vaccinated.”

On the vaccination drive, the secretary lamented the division is still "some ways off."

She said 80 per cent (36,000 people) of the eligible population is being targeted to be fully vaccinated.

The division reported that as of 10 pm on Thursday, it had fully vaccinated 21,839 people.

“It doesn’t solely depend on the THA or the TRHA or the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development, but it also depends on you. We have to be more responsible. We have to be more vigilant as a people and we have to even be more conscious-minded.

"Whenever we go out, yes, I know we have agreed in large part that we want to live with covid19 but at the end of the day, we have to practise those basic rules and regulations.”

Davidson-Celestine warned that if people are not responsible the health system would be overwhelmed.

And with the political campaigns expected to intensify heading into the December 6 THA elections, Davidson-Celestine said the PNM Tobago Council, which she leads, has implemented a number of measures to manage the situation.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do, and this is from the perspective of the PNM, is to ensure that at all of our meetings we are adequately spaced and that we follow those basic rules and regulations.

"At every one of our meetings, we have attendants who would treat with things of checking (temperatures) and most importantly, will ensure that there is a sanitisation process.”

Supporters of the PNM and the Progressive Democratic Patriots were guilty of flouting covid19 health regulations and gathering in numbers over ten on Nomination Day on Monday.

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"Health secretary urges Tobago: Be more responsible"

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