Sunday 5 April, 2020

Young adamant: No SoE needed

Minister of National Security  Stuart Young responds to a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Couva North, Ramona Ramdial. © 2020 Office of the Parliament.

Minister of National Security Stuart Young responds to a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Couva North, Ramona Ramdial. © 2020 Office of the Parliament.

There is no need for a state of emergency at this time.

So said National Security Minister Stuart Young in response to a question from Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial during Wednesday’s sitting of the Parliament.

Ramdial questioned whether there was any consideration for a complete lockdown of borders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young indicated that the approach and response to the pandemic is still a very fluid process and Government will continue to do what is best in the interest of all.

However, he maintained that the issue of a state of emergency does not arise at this time.

“At this stage it is not on the front burner that we implement any nationwide lockdown, but we continue to monitor it, we continue to be guided, most importantly, by the medical expert advice by the Chief Medical Officer and his staff from the Ministry of Health,” Young stated.

On the issue of enforcing quarantine orders and other advice from Government to stay away at home and not engage in mass gatherings to slow the spread of the virus, the Minister noted that the authorities have at their disposal the Quarantine Act.

Young indicated the Ministry of Health has the full support of the National Security Ministry as it relates to the enforcement of this law to its full extent, should this become necessary.

“We have already implemented via the inter-Ministerial committee a list of those persons whom the Ministry of Health would like to be monitored for quarantining and the truth is at the end of the day, it comes down to the self-discipline of every individual and this government is not going to be using the law unnecessarily but we will if we have to and the police are assisting the Chief Medical Officer and the Ministry of Health in whatever they need, including patrolling outside certain homes,” the Minister explained.

Trinidad and Tobago now has 60 confirmed cases, and on Wednesday night recorded its first COVID-related death in an elderly patient with preexisting conditions.

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