THA Minority Leader Kelvon Morris is awaiting an official response from Chief Secretary Farley Augustine after he wrote to ask for a meeting to discuss the assembly’s response to Tobago's rising rates of covid19 infections and deaths.
In a Facebook live broadcast on Wednesday, Morris said since he sent his letter on January 4, both by e-mail and by hand, he is yet to receive a response.
“Unfortunately, it has been a week and I have not received any correspondence from the Chief Secretary indicating whether such a meeting would be had.”
A week ago, Augustine told Newsday he had not received the letter from Morris, but had heard of it in the media. He said he had previously orally invited Morris to meet after the first sitting of the Tobago House of Assembly on December 21, but at that time, Morris said he would not be available until January.
However, he said Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Development Dr Faith BYisrael is to invite Morris to attend the covid19 task force meeting. He said this is a deviation from the policy set by Morris’ own party, which when in office had refused an offer to have Dr BYisrael participate in the task force.
Morris said he had heard Augustine’s response in the media but was dissatisfied.
“I would prefer,as mature individuals, that we have the conversations in a way that will augur – that would be able to have dialogue and at the end of the day, we have results that are in the best interest of Tobago.”
He said: "At this point in Tobago’s scenario, it is clear that there are some challenges facing us in the health sector." For instance, he said, people were going to the hospital for normal care and were unable to get beds.
He said as a minority, he found it important to offer support.
“We requested a meeting so that we could have provided some clear solutions – sit around a table as gentlemen, as persons concerned with Tobago’s development, having the health professionals in the same space, having the THA Executive in the same space. and as well we are coming along with some experts...to have the conversations that could have brought us to a place where we have a clear plan of action.”