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UNC Political Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Chester Sambrano

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the government has allowed COVID-19 to enter this country through the “back door,” and has accused them of attempting to use the pandemic to score political points.

“Rowley is aware that if he admits a spike it will only allow that to contradict his campaign rhetoric that we handled it well, he is playing games with this thing. Ask yourself if the borders were closed where did the spike come from? Where did it come from?”

At a UNC virtual campaign meeting last night Persad-Bissessar said “When it was time to secure our borders they failed they allowed COVID to come in through the back door. Just when they closed the border Madam Delcy on a plane flying in with others on that plane. Others are coming through the back door all over down Cedros, Taharqa knows that. I am told there are even boats coming into Chaguaramas bringing in illegals.”

She said instead the Prime Minister opted to blame people of South Trinidad rather than admit his government’s own failures in treating with the virus.

The UNC leader said although schools have now been closed it is uncertain what is going to happen with the spread going forward because testing is still not enough.

“If they had done the proper testing from the beginning we would have been in a better position,” she said.

She added that while testing around the world has increased, in Trinidad and Tobago we have undertaken just over 7,500 tests out of a population of 1.4 million people.

She said this gives us a rank of 162 in the world regarding testing.

Persad-Bissessar said what is needed now is stronger action and planning. She said her party has published a 9-point plan to deal with the virus.

Among her plans are to maintain closed borders until it is safe to reopen, establish a repatriation programme for stranded nationals, introduce Rapid Response Testing and establish a COVID Intelligence Unit.

Persad-Bissessar also defended her plan to create a dome (virtual safety net).

“It was a virtual dome and someone told me you know when the Commissioner of Police said he will create a bubble around the CPL (Caribbean Premier League) players, nobody ask him what kind of bubble you going to make, plastic, steel, metal? It was the same issue of a virtual safety net.”

She sent a message to the PNM that, “by the way you are using COVID as your platform, as your ship to sail into victory for an election is not going to happen.”

As it relates to Monday’s election the Opposition Leader acknowledged that there will be no international or regionals observers and called on citizens to be national observers instead.

“I nominate every citizen as a national observer. Pay attention to what is happening around you, look for the irregularities at polling stations and during these last few days. If you see something, say something.”