If everyone objects to having recuperating COVID-19 patients in their “backyard,” where should such persons be placed when they themselves get the virus, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has asked.
“Everyone says not in my backyard. But when you come down with it or your mother, or sister, or your children—whose backyard should we put you (in)? If you can answer that, you’ll assist us,” the Prime Minister said at yesterday’s media briefing updating the country on COVID-19 measures.
Rowley’s statement appeared to respond to recent complaints by some people—including in Sangre Grande—against the Ministry of Health’s plans to housing COVID-19 patients in step-down facilities across the country. Residents of Brooklyn Settlement, Sangre Grande, protested the proposed use a former home for the aged in their community to house some recovering COVID-19 patients who were previously housed at the Couva Hospital.
Yesterday, Rowley, who noted how leprosy patients were treated many years ago, said Government continues relying on the professional conduct of all staff to determine how to manage the situation.
“…And we call on the public for compassion, humanity and common sense,” Rowley said.
Rowley noted Queen Elizabeth’s address to the United Kingdom over the weekend, where she said a day would come when people would have to look back and ask what they did in the pandemic to save their nation, themselves or others.
“That’s the question I put to all citizens,” Rowley added.
He queried if people would say they complied, were in quarantine, escaped from hospital or knowingly exposed others to the virus.
“If that’s your answer, then you pose a threat and it doesn’t take many people to overturn the sacrifices made so far.”
Hours after the PM’s press conference, news came from England the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recently contracted, the virus, was transferred to the ICU department. On those inciting others on the premise of defending people’s rights, he added, “We know where this will end if you allow them to succeed.”
Rowley also said some people were demanding the shutdown of T&T, but the same voices were also demanding that people who need to access Government’s social relief measures also get them as well.
“So who’ll prepare the cheques during shutdown? You can’t have all of us disconnecting,” he said.
Rowley also rubbished the impression the virus is an “old people” thing. He noted that some overseas hospitalised cases were 45 per cent young people.
“If we fool ourselves, young people will become cavalier and endanger themselves and others,” the PM said.