Nervous about what the next two weeks will bring in terms of the COVID-19 statistics as there is increased movement between the two islands during this holiday period, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley appealed to Trinidadians on vacation to keep their numbers small.
Speaking at Saturday’s media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Rowley said checks revealed many of the villas, guest houses and hotels had been booked for the season by people wanting to get some relaxation.
However, he said, “Some people, largely Trinidadians, who go to Tobago now in a villa believe that because you are in a villa in Tobago, it is a party to have. Could I appeal to you and say enjoy your villa, enjoy the beach, enjoy the glass-bottomed boat trips, enjoy the hikes but whatever you are engaged in, whatever it is you are engaged in, do not do so in large groups and the best you can do is to stay within your closest group which is your closest family, otherwise we are going to end up like some countries who thought that they were having the better of this virus.”
Rowley warned, “It only takes a few days to go from feeling comfortable to realising that you are being overwhelmed.”
Reflecting on the statistics that had been recorded after Divali, he said it showed there had been no untoward behaviours that had impacted the number of cases.
Referring to the Christmas season, he said, “We really have to step up. We really have to become more responsible in the Christmas season. Let this Christmas be a Christmas with a difference, not a difference because you infected your grandparents and you lose one or two; you infected your neighbour or the person you hadn’t seen for a long time, let that not be the difference and worse, let it not be the Christmas where your young child or children are numbered among the ones that Dr Trotman just described.”
As Diego Martin West MP, Rowley said, “There are a number of households and communities in the Western part of Trinidad, populated by people who believe that it does not apply to them because they live in a high-end district.
“There is no high-end COVID-19. You will meet the low end, hospital care and the morgue just like anybody else.”
“I am appealing to you, to not give yourself any pass because of where you live or who you are because the national population is depending on you to not behave in that selfish way and expose us to a Christmas season where after Christmas, we find ourselves in a situation where Dr Hinds is giving us a different report.”
To people considering or planning to attend parties during this period, the PM advised them to think carefully about the repercussions.