Thursday 26 November, 2020

Watch: PM calls for 'all hands on deck' in Independence Day message

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the country must now unite and work together to overcome the challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his Independence Day message, shared via social media, Dr Rowley referred to divisiveness, which took place during the general election, emphasising that the country must now unite in order to succeed.


‘There are many challenges ahead…but none so serious as COVID-19. We’ll have many serious decisions to make.’

‘Our future and fortunes cannot be just tied to COVID-19. Like everything else, it could happen quicker if all hands are on deck.’

 ‘During the last election campaign there were some unfortunate advertising missteps, followed by crass and acrimonious racial social media postings. Some persons flippantly dismissed those comments as just blips on the national landscape but in reality, those persons who perpetrated it were aiming at the racial faultiness in our society. Their intention was to promote panic, fear and hatred.’

‘This is not a time to lose faith, to kindle racial hatred, to spread fake news, to undermine institutions and selfishly stoke ethnic, religious, social and/or geographical division, regardless of who is doing it. Just stop.’

Dr Rowley said in light of this there are plans for educational reform.  

‘This is a time for coming together, a time for being responsible and being our brother’s keeper. This is a time for love.’

‘There is one reality that is inescapable and that is that we are all in this together. There must be a vision of one whole, one country…working together for the common good…The only way forward is together.’

Dr Rowley said preventing the spread of COVID-19 is an act of patriotism.

‘The threat of COVID-19…is literally in your hands. We have been asking since January to wash your hands, and don’t congregate. If you are sick, don’t just stay home, remain in your room for the quarantine period if you can. Doing so is an act of patriotism and a duty of citizenship in this period.’

‘Our country is no different from any other in the world from the richest to the poorest…where there is a limited amount of hospital beds and ventilators; a limited number of doctors, nurses and protection equipment.

‘We have so held among the best in the world on the management of COVID-19. As the virus progresses along its natural cycle, we and 146 other countries are fighting community spread.’

Dr Rowley said he has also seen the virus spreading most rapidly among young people.

‘I have many times put out a call for young people to take responsibility. To the young people I’m asking you to make a contribution and take responsibility. Now is not the time, and a pandemic is not the circumstance to wager bets on your indestructibility and those around you.’

‘This is not a drill, it’s not a joke. It’s not a trendy share of Instagram or a cool forward on Whatsapp. The risk is real. We have deaths and we have a number of citizens in High Dependency Care.’

‘To do otherwise…is to invite unspeakable disaster.’

Dr Rowley said international health experts have predicted that the global death toll will rise, with no foreseeable end.

‘Everyone has to assume responsibility for his or her actions. Practicing personal cleanliness, physical distancing, washing hands, wearing masks and avoiding congregating in large groups. If we do not do this with diligence and sustained social responsibility our medical system will be overwhelmed with the potential of a collapse.’

‘It is now a question of this country’s overall survival. There’s no my side and your side, there’s only victory for all of us or defeat for all of us. We must come together and win this battle together.’ 

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