Passengers wait for transportation at the San Fernando taxi stand on Broadway, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

Prime Minister Rowley says T&T is in a good place having weathered the latest phase of COVID-19.

“At this point in time, Trinidad and Tobago has weathered another surge of the COVID-19 storm and we are in a reasonably good position,” he said in Parliament.

“The Government has done all that it could reasonably have been expected to do to provide our citizens with adequate healthcare, for those amongst us who contracted COVID-19 and required hospitalisation. We secured adequate WHO-approved vaccines to vaccinate our population above the age of 12 years old and for months we have staffed and resourced mass vaccination sites to vaccinate and even provided timely booster shots for our population. We have tried every reasonable initiative to encourage those who are eligible to be vaccinated, to get vaccinated. We continue and will continue so to do.

“When it’s all said and done, as a Government, we are not masters but merely representatives of the people and with a hard to reach 50 per cent vaccination level, waning virility of the dominant Omicron variant and large volumes of vaccines being dumped, the population is speaking very loudly how individuals wish to confront what’s left of the pandemic experience.”

He added, “I expect our national watchwords ‘Discipline, Production and Tolerance’ would guide our social behaviour as we go forward living with COVID-19 and that the majority of our population will proceed with dignified restraint, and be mindful that as we begin the process of lifting the remaining restrictions, we will be considerate of our brothers, and sisters, and the fact that the virus, which unfortunately continues to claim lives, is still amongst us. We have agreed now to add ‘Responsibility’ to the list of watchwords. Common sense and COVID-19 demand it.”

Rowley also cautioned that the pandemic is not yet over.

“Our greatest threat remains the emergence of new variants which can arise rapidly, and without warning … We must remain cautiously optimistic, whilst at the same time, being highly vigilant, and nimble, in our response,” the PM said.

“Even as we react to an almost endemic condition, it is possible a dangerous new variant could appear, resulting in a swift review of these decisions because we are still in a pandemic. We look forward to being able to confidently join others who have already declared the virus endemic but we must remain cautious as we move towards such time.”