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Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses a political meeting in Mt Lambert last night.

Gail Alexander

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has said Government was a little shaken by the latest COVID news but added that the administration is prepared.

Speaking at last night’s PNM Mt Lambert meeting he said the news of the latest cases – four new ones including two that require epidemiological investigations – was something that the country wasn’t accustomed to.

While it could be a harbinger of things to come he said it was hoped it would not be bad.

“But we’re prepared,” he declared.

He said because of the COVID-19 virus, 2020 is a year people would tell their children about and hope to survive it.

However, he said the country has proven to be a model nation in the situation. He added that eight lives were lost and those families were still hurting.

“But my grandmother always said no matter how bad a situation is, it could have been worse.”

Rowley thanked health sector workers whom he said rose to the occasion and guided T&T through. He noted that T&T’s expertise had been noticed by US experts whom he’d been speaking to during the COVID outbreak.

Detailing Government’s plans on the crisis, he said Government had heard complaints and knew it couldn’t please everyone.

“But once I hear you, you’re alive,” he said.

Rowley added, “Our people not easy, you know them – they were outside, crying and misbehaving, we sympathised, we bring them home.”

But he said when they returned, those people didn’t want to co-operate with the Health Ministry or enter quarantine or they wanted to visit family outside of quarantine. Rowley also said when he was returning from Moruga recently around 10.30 pm, he passed a bar full of people with people dancing in the road when the bar should have been closed since 8 pm.

“So far so good. It’s not had the kind of negative effect, but let’s not push our luck too far,” he appealed.

He said the experts said COVID will be with T&T for a little while still and when T&T emerges, there must be a direction for the damaged economy to go. Rowley said wherever T&T ends this year once the country isn’t as infected and or the economy has to close again and markets pick up, it was expected that turnaround of the direction T&T went in 2020, could be targetted. He said while it’s been very difficult, “We must focus on a positive future and there are opportunities coming your way.”

Rowley said T&T’s future lay in digitisation and he urged T&T to take the opportunity presented by the crisis.

He said Government has been doing more with less and that made PNM the right choice.

Among his attacks on the Opposition, he said also the “magicians” offering 50,000 jobs haven’t said how it will be funded.

“But I suspect they’ll bring back some (money).”