The unfortunate deaths of over 2000 citizens from Covid-19 are on the hands of Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, because of their incompetent mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic over the last 22 months. Here’s how we got to this tragic state of affairs:
• From as early as January, 2020, three months before the WHO officially proclaimed the Covid-19 pandemic, the Opposition UNC brought five motions to Parliament to debate it but they shut us down at every turn.
• They allowed over 22000 foreign visitors to our shores for Carnival 2020, even as the rest of the world was guarding their borders.
• The Rowley regime was grossly underprepared for the required Covid-19 management in testing, tracing, purchase of PPEs, whether we should wear masks, etc.
• They deliberately under tested the population pre the August 2020 General Elections to fool people into believing we had no high incidence of Covid-19, for their nefarious election purposes.
• They were ill prepared to manage the quarantining of patients, and failed to hire the requisite nursing and medical (doctors) staff to help in the early management of the virus
• They failed to recognize the importance of early and urgent acquisition of vaccines, where PM Rowley infamously declared that he was not going to beg for vaccines for the citizens.
• Trinidad and Tobago was then placed in the embarrassing, laughable position of being at the mercy of smaller Caribbean countries, starting our vaccination programme long after many countries in Caricom and Latin America.
• When we finally got vaccines, the Rowley regime improperly managed the vaccination programme, with massive confusion by the population as to where to go for their vaccines, forcing vulnerable elderly citizens to stand in the rain for vaccines that were never even available at that time
• Even amid warnings of a dangerous spike in Covid-19 infection rates, PM Rowley urged over 50,000 visitors to go to Tobago over the Easter weekend, causing that island’s infection and death rate to significantly increase.
• They failed to secure pharmaceuticals needed to help save lives namely the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, the monoclonal antibody Tocilizumab and the plasma from Regeneron which are all lifesaving drugs, but none of which are in available in our ICUs and HDUs.
• They did nothing to fix the shortage of experienced nursing and medical personnel (doctors), and even technicians, in the emergency tents at various hospitals and the HDUs and ICUs resulting in widespread deaths in these areas on a daily basis.
• There was an absence of any structured education programme with experienced medical and nursing personnel advising the anti-vaxxers, winning their confidence and getting them vaccinated. This caused stalling of the vaccinations, (at only 45% of the population), resulting in almost 12deaths per day in November 2021.
• T&T is now experiencing the highest mortality in the Caribbean and even in Latin America per million population.
What a disgraceful, criminally negligent Government! They have now thrown their hands up in the air, not knowing how to reduce this death rate. Their State of Emergency has been an absolute failure and totally unnecessary.
Yet all we have is PM Rowley appearing every week on his political soapbox, disguised as a news conference, to show utter contempt for citizens, blaming them and shouting at them for his own utter failure and incompetence to do his job.
Dr Tim Gopeesingh
Former MP, Cabinet Minister