Govt, Opposition appeal for safety over Xmas

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

GOVERNMENT and Opposition MPs on Friday appealed to citizens to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from covid19 over the Christmas season.

Members on both sides of the political divide told Newsday their time over Christmas will be divided between spending time with their families, their constituents and working.

The Prime Minister said, “I am having a semi-isolated Christmas entirely with my family, who are here in Trinidad. I also do that on Boxing Day.” Dr Rowley said on Monday, he will be in Tobago for a few days “into and around the New Year.” Rowley, who is from Mason Hall, often spends time at his sheep farm in Tobago.

“I hope to get into the bush and out into the open there, as I get the best of both worlds while I keep my distance as much as the circumstances demand.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh will be continuing his ministerial duties, while finding some private time to spend with his family and co-ordinating activities in his St Joseph constituency.

But otherwise, “I will be spending my Christmas as I have spent every day for the past two years.”

This included receiving reports from Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, other members of the ministry’s covid19 team and the regional health authorities.

“That goes on, making sure that resources are where they are needed to treat our patients.”

Deyalsingh will spend time on Saturday with staff at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility, one of the 16 facilities in the parallel health care system established to treat covid19 patients.

“For this week, I have been visiting all the covid hospitals.”

Deyalsingh said he will spend a large part of his Christmas continuing to thank frontline health care workers and motivate them going into another year of the pandemic..

As St Joseph MP, Deyalsingh said there have been Christmas activities there over the last month, “bringing relief and cheer to as many communities as possible.” Hundreds of food hampers have been delivered throughout St Joseph.

“We did a toy drive in the past couple of days, to bring as much cheer to those parts of the constituency that need that care and attention.” Apart from this, Deyalsingh said community infrastructural projects continue to bring relief to constituents.

His Christmas message to the population was to show love to frontline health care workers by protecting themselves against covid19.

“The best way that you can honour and love health care workers is not to get infected.”

He reiterated his appeal to citizens to mask up, social distance, avoid gatherings and get vaccinated.

Public Utilities Minister and Lopinot/Bon Air West MP Marvin Gonzales said he will spend Christmas Day with his family and limit his physical interactions with other people.

“Over the last two weekends, I have distributed 4,500 toys to children in my constituency.”

Some 800 food hampers were also distributed this week.

He urged constituents to stay home with their families and celebrate Christmas without any large gatherings

Communications Minister Symon de Nobriga said, “This will be a quiet Christmas for me. The day will be with my family.”

As Diego Martin Central MP, de Nobriga continued, efforts are ongoing to help needy families in the constituency.

“As far as my message to the nation, I can only ask that we mirror the life of sacrifice that Jesus led at this time.”

He hoped people would put the needs of others before their own.

“Give others the gift of life through vaccination and please be responsible, especially now.”

D’Abadie/O’Meara MP Lisa Morris-Julian said Christmas will be low-key for her family, having lost her grandmother earlier this year.

In the constituency, hampers have been given to needy people. She also said a toy caravan was scheduled to be held later in the evening.

She added, “I am just urging everyone to be careful and stay safe.”

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal is spending Christmas Day with family and close friends. While toy drives are scheduled over the weekend in the constituency, he said, “Those will involve less persons and allow for children to collect their toys, but will not entail congregating and partying.”

Moonilal hoped the true meaning of Christmas would resonate across TT and “we can unite to confront the purveyors of division and discrimination.

Time with family and singing karaoke will feature in Oropouche West MP Dave Tancoo’s Christmas Day celebrations. Tancoo praised his constituency staff for doing what they could to bring relief and cheer to constituents throughout the year.

He said he continues to be moved by the amazing acts of generosity displayed by many citizens to less fortunate people during the pandemic. Tancoo prayed that people reject darkness and “treat each other with kindness and respect.”

While he is a Hindu, Princes Town MP Barry Padarath said he enjoys the beauty of Christmas and will attend Christmas Eve mass in Princes Town with his family. For him, the essence of Christmas is “the innocence and joy that children bring.”

His message was “reach out to someone today and share the love of Christ, our nation needs hope as we look to the Lord to lift us up once again.”Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee said, “Let the C we put in Christmas be Christ, cheer and comradery. Let it not be covid.”

Lee will spend Christmas Day with his family and constituents.

Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein is spending Christmas Day at home. Last week, Hosein said, 1,000 treat bags were distributed to children in the constituency, along with hampers and food cards.

He said, “My message is that with the new year, we are able to overcome this virus which has caused us so much setback and that TT can prosper again.”

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