St Joseph police are searching for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman this morning in Champ Fleurs. Police were told that the incident took place at about 12.45am today. The victim said that she and another female friend were out liming when they were offered a drop home by a man known to them. Upon arrival at her home, her friend exited the vehicle. The victim was about to do the same, however, she told police that the driver suddenly locked the doors and drove a short distance away to a nearby Savannah. He parked the car and assaulted herandthen drove off. The woman made a report to police and was taken for medical examinations. WPC Hunte is continuing inquiries.

A 56-year-old woman is dead following a shooting inBicheon Saturday night. The deceased has been identified asShermaFrancis. According to police reports, at about 11pm, Francis was among a group of persons who were liming near a shed alongCharumaRecreationGrounds, when a vehicle pulled up next to the group. Loud explosions were heard and the vehicle sped away. In the aftermath, Francis had been shot several times. She was rushed to the Rio Claro Health Facility, however, she succumbed to her wounds. An autopsy is carded to take place today at the Forensic ScienceCentrein St James.

While the Ministry of Health has come under scrutiny for Trinidad and Tobago’s testing numbers for COVID-19, the representatives say the numbers arewell in keepingwith the recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Minister of Health, TerrenceDeyalsinghsaid that it’s important that the country manages resources to ensure that those who require testing the most are able to access it. Chief Medical Officer Dr RoshanParasramalso explainedwhat qualifies a person to be tested for COVID-19, citing which cases prove to be more urgent. “We test based on who presents to us as well as who has been linked to any prior case so primary, secondary,tertiaryoranyone presenting to the facility with viral illness, bearing in mind, of course, that testing always has been and will becontinuing to bea voluntaryprocess where people can say no,” he explained. While citizens can’t present themselves for testing if they are asymptomatic,cases falling in that category can be tested under special circumstances. “When someone is exposed, a family member for example, we would have tested those individuals as the only exception as asymptomatic people and we continue to do so.So, we’ll test those individuals with very high levels of exposure," he added. This also covers those re-entering Trinidad and Tobago as part of the ongoing repatriation exercises as airport terminals and the overall transport process is deemed to be one of sufficient risk to exposure. Dr Avery Hinds, who specialises in epidemiology and contact tracing for the Ministry of Health explained that resource management is ofparamount importance. “Trinidad and Tobagohasemployed what is called purposive testing. We have not been attempting to test random, asymptomatic individuals because that is notthe best use of your resources and it gives you the wrong picture with regards to what’s going on in your population,” he said.

The Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) says face masks are required at all terminals of the Piarco International Airport to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The AATTissued a statement outlining health and safety measures which are now in place in order to prevent any spread of the virus. The AATT said it has implemented health and safety protocols at the Piarco and ANR Robinson International Airports to protect travellers, employees, stakeholders and airport users from the spread of COVID-19. When arriving at the airports, persons can expect to see some additional measures as follows: Face masks are required for entry into Terminals and must be worn at all points throughout the Terminal buildings; Temperature screening takes place at entrances and before security check points; Increased hand sanitization stations are available; Physical distancing must be observed at all times; Passengers are advised of the following installations at the check-in area: Sneeze guards at the check-in counters; Increased number of hand sanitization stations; Physical distancing markers to guide responsible queuing; Regular sanitization of all surfaces; No gathering of standby passengers. For added convenience, passengers are encouraged to use the airlines’ web check-in services or the self-check-in kiosks at the terminal buildings for quicker and more efficient check-in processing. At the security checkpoints: Masks must remain on; Temperature screening will be conducted before the checkpoints; Physical distancing is required in queues; Passport bio-pages and departing flight details must be on hand; Security screening trays are sanitized frequently; Instructions of Security Officers and signage must be observed to allow for faster processing. While at the Departure Lounges: Face Masks should be worn; Social distancing must be practised at seating areas; Increased sanitization stations are available; Seats and other frequently used surfaces are regularly sanitized; Passport bio-pages and departing flight details should be ready for presentation to the agent at the gate; Physical distancing should be observed when queuing at gates. The AATT said throughout the airports, there are increased hand sanitization stations, the observance of distance seating, enhanced cleaning protocols and the routine disinfection of security trays and general surfaces. The company said there are floor markings and signage to provide guidance on social distancing in queues and general areas. As per the public health ordinance, there is no reduced seating for public transportation, which includeslocal flights. The company added that they also have several sensitization and training sessions with members of staff, who are ready and willing to assist passengers. The AATT said it continues to be attentive and diligent in the observance of international best practices which are applicable to airports. 'We continue to be guided by the Ministry of Health in implementing measures to reduce the risks of the spread of the COVID-19. The Authority wishes to reassure all stakeholders that your safety is top priority and we are making every effort to restore your confidence to travel once again. We thank you for your support and cooperation as we strive to create an enjoyable and safe travel experience.'

File: UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at a virtual political meeting.

The manifesto presented by the People’s National Movement (PNM) lacks substance or vision for a better future for Trinidad and Tobago. That’s the assessment by the United National Congress (UNC) which slammed the document put forward on Sunday as a “pathetic, last-ditch effort” that “failed to make the grade”. The party said the manifesto lacked any plan and was nothing more than a presentation of rehashed promises from successive budgets over their term, their 2015 manifesto, the reworked Vision 2030, and the Roadmap to Recovery report. Further, the party knocked the PNM administration for using its COVID-19 response as the basis for its election campaign. It said this was a slap in the face to the citizenry and has missed the mark in addressing the needs of the people. “The PNM is far removed from the reality of the economic crisis facing our nation, which has come about due to their incompetence and mismanagement. They failed to put forward any substantive plans for diversification, revenue generation or job creation.” Turning its attention to infrastructural development, the UNC accused the Dr Keith Rowley-led administration of taking credit for projects started under the previous People’s Partnership government. “It is unacceptable that the PNM is shamelessly trying to take credit for several projects that were completed by the Government led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar, by listing them as PNM achievements. One of these is the Couva Children’s Hospital - a project Rowley vilified for over four years, and it was only when the pandemic hit that they allowed access to this state-of-the-art facility.” The UNC said the people of Trinidad and Tobago deserve better, which it said it is offering with its Economic Transformation Masterplan. The UNC’s plan proposes the lowering taxes, the modernisation and expansion of the education sector and job creation, among other recommendations.

A maxi-taxi driver explains the need for proper road work to be done along his Talparo route.

The constituency of LaHorquetta/Talparois one that both the reigning People’s National Movement (PNM) and their main competitors, the United National Congress (UNC) are throwing a keen eye on. While residents have mixed perspectives on past and future representation, many have similar issues to report. Bad road infrastructure, inconsistent water supplies and crime are hot button issues in the area and while some have wavering hope, others are looking forward to what new representation will bring. The PNM has fielded General Secretary of the party, Foster Cummings as their candidate while the UNC has offered their Deputy Political Leader,JearleanJohn.