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Former THA Chief Secretary Hochoy Charles says all Tobagonians should be tested for the coronavirus.

The head of One Tobago Voice Hochoy Charles wants all 60,000 Tobagonians tested for COVID-19.

Charles spoke with Guardian Media on Thursday at Breeze Hall, Scarborough. Charles said this would allow for the better management of the virus in Tobago.

Charles said he believes the situation with the virus is worse than what is being portrayed.

He said since October 2019 the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA had information on the virus and communicated with hoteliers in Tobago and asked them to report foreigners showing symptoms of the disease.

Charles said: “ We allowed Carnival to take place, not only that, there was a particular person, there is information CARPHA has, there is was a particular individual who came in from New York into Trinidad.”

Charles said the individual developed symptom of the disease and returned to New York. He said it is unknown who that individual came into contact with.

Charles was very critical of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

He said the Assembly remains very quiet on the COVID-19 status and only regurgitates what is said by the government rather than being pro-active.

He said if Tobago had internal self-governance the matter would have been handled differently and the island would have been able to take care of its own and make better provisions.

He said: “If Trinidad is overwhelmed, as is going to be, as is happening, overwhelmed they would not have any time to see about us over here, we should have our self-government, still remain a nation and be able to protect our people.”

Charles said even though the information was available after October, Chinese workers were allowed on the island to work on a project in Roxborough.

He said: “If Tobago was in charge of Tobago we were going to allow the testing to be done of our population here to know who has because you are sometimes asymptomatic and you don’t know.

“Secondly, that get me irritable, they send every case to Trinidad.”

He said a facility should have put in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 fiasco to test and treat Tobagonians.