Sunday 5 April, 2020

UNC defends Kamla's move to reveal COVID-19 related death

The United National Congress (UNC) is defending the move by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to reveal Trinidad and Tobago's first COVID-19 related death before the Ministry of Health.

It comes as she faces criticism by some on social media, who have described the move as irresponsible and reckless.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, the Opposition Leader made the revelation, calling on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to immediately lockdown the country for 14-days.

Hours later, the Ministry of Health confirmed the death in a statement issued by Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.

Deyalsingh explained that 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.

Responding to the concerns, UNC PRO Anita Haynes said the Opposition has a responsibility to hold the Government accountable.

"It was a not a decision that was taken lightly, but this is a life and death issue and information is critical. The Opposition has a responsibility to hold the government to account. And the government has responsibility to be forthcoming with the information on the extremely fluid Covid-19 crisis," she indicated.

Haynes added that the Opposition Leader's made a 'responsible' and tough call for a 14 day shut down, in light of a number of developments including the death of the COVID-19 patient.

"The Opposition Leader yesterday made a responsible and tough call for a 14 day shut down. There is support for the call in many quarters and in the medical fraternity.

In the press release the Opposition Leader itemized four reasons to justify the need for the shut down of non-essential services and businesses, the tragic death being an important change in what the nation was facing with respect to Covid-19. The focus now needs to be on what are the steps Trinidad and Tobago must take going forward," she said.

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