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Dr Farley Cleghorn

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Public Health diplomat and epidemiologist Dr Farley Cleghorn believes the framework for COVID-19 treatment needs to be revisited and tailored.

Speaking on CNC3’s Tipping Point programme on Wednesday night, Cleghorn noted that the country’s COVID-19 death toll is too high given the number of resources being placed behind the fight.

“I would say that you’re not getting the benefit of the vast infrastructure and resource inputs into hospitalisation today. Your death rate is too high for all of the resources that you are expending,” Cleghorn said.

“So protocols need to be beefed up, they need to be revised, we need to make sure that they are being implemented with fidelity so that you can save people’s lives…in hospital.”

In recent weeks, the Prime Minister informed the country that the Government was proceeding with reopening parts of the economy; albeit cautiously. During his address to the nation a week ago, he hinted at the partial reopening of beaches and some semblance of a Carnival come 2022. However, it’s not the right approach given the country’s current outbreak according to Cleghorn who described it as out of control.

“We really have to find smarter and better ways to achieve the same effect when you have an epidemic like you do in Trinidad which seems to be out of control,” he said.

“How do you do that? Well I don’t think holding Carnival is a way to do that. I do think that government has to balance the economic and social effects of lockdowns with the impact of reopening.”

Given the country’s currently high caseload, he said the government need to adopt strategies which “intersect.”

“Those have to do with reducing contact between people and providing vaccinations. Those are the two- mitigation and vaccination are the two pillars on which you build this response,” he said.

Cleghorn said different strategies also needed to be employed to encourage vaccine uptake. These methods, he said, needed to be tailored specifically for the vaccine-hesitant and the vaccine-resistant.