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Friday 14 August, 2020

Rowley: More than half of TT nationals abroad already repatriated

Government has repatriated more than 50 percent of the citizens stuck abroad as the country’s borders remain on lockdown.

This from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who on Wednesday rejected claims from United National Congress (UNC) leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar that Government “abandoned” 10,000 citizens abroad.

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He was speaking at a People’s National Movement (PNM) meeting in St James at the time.

He said with US states such as Miami being “ground zero” for COVID-19 infections it was necessary to keep the country’s borders closed to safeguard the health of all citizens.

Dr Rowley said Government has been repatriating citizens week after week, with more than 4,000 people being brought home since the country’s borders were closed in March.

He accused the UNC leader of trying to sensationalise the matter.

“There is no 10,000 application there. Of the approximately 8,000… we already brought half of them home.”

The Prime Minister also took the UNC leader to task for a statement she made last week in equating the COVID-19 repatriation exercise as “worse than slavery”.

Government has granted more than 4,500 exemptions for citizens and their families to return to T&T.

National Security Minister Stuart Young previously explained that the repatriation of citizens is based on the capacity of both State-supervised and State quarantine facilities to ensure that the parallel health care system is not overburdened and infections are managed.

As of Wednesday, T&T had 156 confirmed coronavirus cases – 20 of which are active.

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