The Opposition United National Congress (UNC) yesterday made another clarion call to the Government to put aside their “false pride” and work with them to fight the COVID-19 pandemic which has been “spreading like wildfire.”
The appeal came from Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo during a press conference hosted at the office of the Leader of Opposition, Port-of Spain.
Joined by MP Dr Rishard Seecharan, Tancoo said the country was in a deep crisis, as more citizens continue to die from the contagious virus which has “snowballed out of control.”
From day one, Tancoo said the Government mismanaged COVID-19 which has resulted in over 100 deaths in the last two weeks.
Unless we get mass vaccinations, Tancoo feared “things will get worst. Hospitals will continue to be flooded with persons seeking medical attention.”
Tancoo said Trinidad and Tobago was a long way from defeating the coronavirus and its variants and citizens were now living in fear and anxiety.
“You have no idea how bad this thing is going to get… or maybe you do, and you just don’t care,” Tancoo said.
The Opposition, he said, held the view that the Government seemed not to know what they are doing and have been operating in a “vie-ki-vie” manner.
“What is required now is that the Government puts its false pride in its back pocket and engage the population, Leader of the Opposition and civil society.
“Let us all come together and find common solutions with the problems that confront us. We will support anything… anything that will work to the interest of the people of T&T… and that will get us out of the crisis that we are in today. We will continue to support any initiative that will help T&T get out of the hole we are in.”
Tancoo said Rowley’s announcement of a State of Emergency was a “knee jerk reaction” to the virus and the alarm it has caused.
“There is no reason we should not be able to work together and the Prime Minister is aware that the Leader of Opposition, last year, made an overture to him to work together.”
Seecharan said while Rowley has been telling the country that vaccines have been short in supply, Pzifer’s CEO Albert Bourla in an interview with Bloomberg said that low and middle countries had opted not to order the company’s COVID-19 shot in 2020 when they were available for pre-purchase.
Seecharan said Bourla stated that he reached out to heads of middle and low-income countries via letters, text messages and phone calls, urging them to reserve doses since their supply was limited.
He said 40 per cent of Pzifer’s vaccines or “more than one billion shots will be delivered to low and middle-income countries this year.”
The company will also distribute 3 billion vaccines to 116 countries.
“I am asking the Prime Minister the question today, did the Pzifer CEO or any of his agents reached out to you to place a pre-order in 2020, pending WHO approval?”
The Government, Seecharan said, could have made a pre-order for this vaccine.
“You see, Prime Minister, you missed the chance to acquire the Pzifer vaccines for all of T&T. You have now realised your mistake and have entered into talks with China’s Sinopharm, prior to Sinopharm having WHO approval. You could have done the same with Pfizer in 2020.”
Seecharan said T&T is the richest Caricom nation with not one dose of Pzifer in hand.