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Kamla Persad-Bissessar

UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is urging the Health Ministry to set up drive-through testing for COVID-19 to deal with the backlog of tests for the public.

She did so at Monday’s UNC Virtual Report, a feature the UNC launched ahead of the October 5 Budget 2021 delivery.

Persad-Bissessar said by last year’s Budget, the UNC had estimated over 100,000 people had lost their jobs.

She added,“That was long before COVID. That joblessness figure is only increasing. They spent five years “Blame Kamla” but now they will start to blame COVID.”

“Today we see our infection rate at over 3,000 and 65 deaths. But somehow the population is expected to believe that they beat COVID. Hospitals are overwhelmed and citizens continue to complain about not getting any response when they call the various hotlines.”

“Only under the PNM would there be an emergency hotline that you could never get through to in an emergency. The Health Minister continues to get into fights with members of the public, blame everyone else for the increasing infection rate and be a yes man to Keith Rowley.”

She said the minister recently accepted UNC’s suggestion and said he placed an order for 160,000 rapid testing kits.

“However, when asked at a recent news conference on its availability he said that he had to wait on the manufacturer. Why did he publicly state he ordered over 100,000 rapid testing kits over two weeks ago and they are yet to be put into use? Many citizens continue to complain of the lengthy time it takes them to get their swab test results.”

“His actions alone are responsible for the state we are in today. He continues to look for scapegoats all across the nation to blame for the rising infection rate. The minister can blame all who he wants but the buck stops with him as the head of the ministry.”

“I’m therefore calling on the minister to immediately source rapid testing kits that can be available for use by citizens promptly. The quicker the rapid tests are implemented the quicker we will get this under control.”

“Why can’t we set up drive-through testing to help in this backlog of tests we have? South Korea had drive-through testing in the early days and this aided tremendously in getting their infection numbers down.”

Persad-Bissessar also said that before the Budget is read on October 5, the Government would have a fire sale of assets.

“They are going to sell off the assets of the people off. And who will buy it? Who will have the money? The friends, the financiers, family.”

“But I want to ask the Prime Minister—when the Budget is presented, please give the laptops to the children of T&T. If there is one thing you must do to save the future generations is give the children laptops. I promised to give laptops if we had won, I am handing over that task to you, Prime Minister.”