Deyalsingh weighs in on Judiciary ‘covid exposure’ issue

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh. –

HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has said county medical officers of health (CMOHs) are responsible for advising any person or entity about what to do either to prevent a covid19 spread or deal with a spread after it happens.

During the virtual covid19 news conference on Wednesday, the media asked Deyalsingh whether the ministry hadcommunicated with or advised the Judiciary about how to deal with a reported superspreader event at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain that resulted in the building’s being closed from August 16-22.

He said, “Any event in any location, the protocol is for the event or the issue to be under the management of the county medical officers of health, not the Ministry of Health.”

Deyalsingh said the CMOHs “will liaise, whether it is a business place or whatever, advise them what to do to prevent superspreader events or, if there is an event, as is alleged (in the case of the Hall of Justice), what to do.”

He added that the CMOHs give this advice once they have been invited in or asked to give that advice by any person or entity wanting to prevent covid19 spread or dealing with one after it has happened.

Deyalsingh made no comment as to whether or not this had happened in the case of the Judiciary.

In a letter to Chief Justice Ivor Archie on August 20 , High Court Justice Carol Gobin claimed the temporary closure of the Hall of Justice directly interfered with her judicial independence.

In a brief response to questions from Newsday on Tuesday , the Judiciary’s Court Protocol and Information Unit said, “Please be advised that that the Judiciary has no comment on this issue. There is no news in this matter. “