Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says he has to study statements by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) Dr David Nabarro who has urged world leaders to stop “lockdowns” continuing as the primary means of controlling the COVID-19 virus.

Since February Nabarro’s worked for the WHO’s Director-General assisting in dealing with the pandemic. The WHO advocated lockdowns when the pandemic began.

T&T has been opening up the economy bit by bit. Last Saturday, numbers for public gatherings were increased from five to 10 but some restrictions remain.

Nabarro’s statement was on an Australian news site headlined: “WHO backflips on virus stance by condemning lockdowns.”

Nabarro said, “We in the World Health Organisation (WHO) do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,”

“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroups, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted— but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”

He said the only thing lockdowns achieved was poverty with no mention of lives saved.”

Nabarro cited negative impact of lockdowns on tourism in the Caribbean and Pacific, “…..Because people aren’t taking their holidays.”

Nabarro urged leaders to develop better systems as primary methods to contain the virus, “Work together, learn from each other.”

Deyalsingh said he had no comment at this time.

“It has to be studied,” he said.

Nabarro’s statement included, “Look what’s happening to small holders farmers all over the world….to poverty levels, it seems we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never belittle – and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”