Deyalsingh: Trinidad and Tobago weathering covid19 pandemic

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Terrence Deyalsingh –

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has said his ministry has done its best against covid19 in 2021.

Speaking at the ministry’s covid19 media briefing on Wednesday, he said there were several measures it had taken to enable Trinidad and Tobago to weather the covid19 pandemic thus far. He said as a small country with limited resources, it had done well.

“Our first duty was to protect health care workers by the provision of PPE, TT was one of the few countries in the world that never ran out of high-quality, appropriate PPE.

“Two, we set up the parallel health-care system, over 1,000 beds. We will never know how many lives have been saved by the setting up of that parallel health-care systems. Some key supplies were never jeopardised, as in other countries that ran out of things like oxygen. We ensured that key consumables were always present. We never ran out of test kits.”

He said vaccination was another measure that had been carried out as quickly as possible.

“We procured WHO-approved vaccines, we started our vaccination programme in February 2021, to date we’ve vaccinated over 666,432:  vaccinated not enough, admittedly but those people are now better protected.

“We have paid all health-care workers on time: many countries couldn’t do that that were similarly resourced. We managed our borders well and were criticised for it.

“The CMO and I often engage in this coulda/shoulda/woulda, everything we did at the time based on the information we had at the time, I think we were spot on, but the ingredient we need now is personal responsibility to stop unnecessary gatherings. As a ministry of health we have done everything we could have done but what we need now is a higher degree of personal responsibility as we move into year three of this pandemic.”

Deyalsingh said health-care workers are tired, and continued to ask the public not to gather and get infected.

“They are tired, but they come out every single day to do their duty to TT. Let us all be circumspect in our activities. Don’t gather, don’t unmask in indoor settings among people you don’t know, avoid the Old Year’s Night big limes and parties.

“Ring in the New Year very quietly this year and spare a thought for our healthcare workers who will have to try to provide you with health care services.”