Police Constable Kadeam Charles receives his COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Nedd during the vaccination roll out for municipal police at the San Fernando Academy of Performing Arts yesterday. Looking on from left are Dr Kadelle Jessamy, San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello, Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein, Senior Supt. Curtis Belford and City Medical Officer Dr Rajendra Kumar Navuru.

Two hundred of the country’s 726 municipal police officers are in quarantine while 38 have tested positive for COVID-19.

This was disclosed on Saturday by T&T Municipal Police Service Snr Supt Curtis Belford as the vaccination rollout for municipal police officers and workers of the 14 regional corporations kicked off at the San Fernando Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA). Over two days, vaccination will be administered to employees and municipal officers employed at the seven regional corporations within the southern region. This will take place at Mandela Park on Monday and Tuesday.

Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein who was accompanied by San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello, encouraged employees to take the jab. While they are hoping to administer about 350 vaccines, he said the number could be more as “no one will be turned away.” Noting that mayors, chairmen, councillors and aldermen were given a previous vaccination appointment date, he said some of them were hesitant. But he said they were now coming forward to take the jab.

“And I want to encourage them especially this morning, do not take any chances. They will infect their family, their friends and their loved ones so come out like all these municipal police officers and the corporations workers are coming here this morning and take the vaccine.”

Saying that he was wearing two face masks, Hosein stressed the importance of being inoculated and adhering to the COVID-19 protocols. “As you see here, I have on two masks. I am not making joke with it at all. I always walk with my hand sanitisers in my pocket, in my car and I encourage everybody to do the same, proper social distancing…”

Asked about complaints by the Transport Division workers at the Mayaro-Rio Claro Regional Corporation that they were not put on rotation, he said the corporations got instructions from the Permanent Secretary as directed by the Ministry for workers to be put on rotation. “That is happening throughout the corporations. If you saying it did not happen before it is happening now.”

Asked if they were looking into the situation at the Mayaro-Rio Claro corporation where workers have tested positive, he said, “Yes, yes. We are very proactive when coming to this vaccine and this COVID-19.”

Told that during a burial at the Roodal Cemetary on Saturday there were more than ten people in attendance which was in breach of the public health restrictions, Regrello said he will pass on the information to the municipal police to be dealt with.