Members of Tobago’s COVID-19 Task Force discuss ways to improve the management of COVID-19 on the island, on Monday 17 January 2022. (Image courtesy Division of Health, Wellness and Social Protection)

Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection, Dr. Faith B.Yisrael, met with Tobago’s COVID-19 Task Force on Monday 17th January, to chart the way forward for how the island would tackle the pandemic into the future.

The discussions were held virtually, with a wide cross section of stakeholders—some 34 professionals—participating in the meeting, according to a statement from the Division of Health, Wellness and Social Protection.

Participants included representatives from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), inclusive of the Minority Council; Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA); faith-based organisations; tourism sector; fisherfolk associations; members of the alternative medicine fraternity; national security; emergency management; medical institutions (both local and international), among others.

Dr. Faith B.Yisrael, Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), makes a point during discussions with the expanded Tobago COVID-19 Task Force, on Monday 17 January 2022. (Image courtesy Division of Health, Wellness and Social Protection)

“The Tobago COVID-19 Task Force was convened to bring all stakeholders to the table. The aim is to critically review how we manage the pandemic, ensuring that the wants and needs of all involved are taken into account,” Dr. Faith B.Yisrael observed during the meeting.

She added: “Using a collaborative approach would ensure that we not only survive the pandemic but come out of it stronger and more resilient.”

During the discussions, participants recommended ways to improve the management of COVID-19 on the island, inclusive of measures to reduce vaccination hesitancy. They At the end of the meeting, identified gaps impacting pandemic management, tabled activities for consideration and implementation.

The release from the Division notes that expanded COVID-19 Task Force meetings will be held once monthly to involve key sectors in the planning and decision-making processes, and that smaller groups will be developed from the large group, to work on executing specific tasks.