Sunday 5 April, 2020

Rowley: We didn’t hide COVID death, we were being decent

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is hitting back at Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for her decision to release information regarding the death of a COVID-19 patient. 

Speaking at the Post Cabinet Media Briefing today, Dr Rowley said it was a matter of decency. 

“If people are led to believe that the government’s position is one of deception, so you can’t wait until the official protocol in the announcement of a death takes place, because you are led to believe that the government is hiding that fact, we’re not hiding that fact. We’re just behaving decently, so that the family could be advised before it becomes a political football,” he said. 

PM Rowley says the Ministry of Health’s position on their protocols has been and should continue to be observed, despite those who think they know better. 

“If there are persons who believe that they want to be the national ghoul or the national town crier, let them do that, we have other things to do,” he said. 

On Thursday during the early afternoon, rumours that a patient who was suffering from COVID-19 had died began circulating on social media.  

Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh, refused to confirm the news in keeping with his Ministry’s protocol to share information with relatives of the deceased. 

Around 8pm, the Ministry of Health issued a press release confirming the death, saying, “In deference to the feelings of the family, the Ministry of Health delayed the public release of this information so that the family would have ample time to receive and process this information.” 

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