Trinidad and Tobago will have its general election on August 10, says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
The election, he said, will not be rescheduled due to the upsurge in Covid 19 coronavirus-positive cases in this country.
Speaking to the media following the Eid-Ul-Adha observance at the San Fernando Jama Masjid this morning, Rowley said the election will go on as the government continues to manage the deadly virus.
He said, "Trinidad and Tobago does not have that conversation, that is a conversation for outside. We will continue to live as reasonably as we can while not being overly exposed. We are managing. We will have our elections, there is no question about that and we will continue to be observant and guided by the information we have."
Asked whether he had confirmed the presence of Caricom observers for the general election, Rowley said he was yet to get a response. He said the matter will be addressed at a media conference later today.
Last Friday, Rowley said Commonwealth observers will not be coming to Trinidad and Tobago as "we are not in a normal situation".
Do not panic
Addressing the issue of an increase in "local" cases of Covid-19, Rowley said the government was managing the pandemic and citizens should adhere to the guidelines by the Ministry of Health.
He said the government was not surprised by the new upsurge in positive cases and was prepared to deal with the situation.
He said, "There will be no panic response in this country. From day one we have had a measured response and that will continue. We are not surprised by it, we are prepared and that is what gives us our strength and confidence, we are prepared".
Rowley appealed to citizens to limited exposure in the fight against Covid-19.
Asked whether he had planned to lock down parts of the economy to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Rowley said he would make decisions on the facts of the circumstances.
"We would make decisions on the facts of the circumstance. We meet constantly and we discuss it and we look at our situation and we make balanced decisions. Those decisions will be governed by the facts of the situation. Let us not panic, we built a response situation....we are still in danger but unfortunately some people still behave like it had passed but you are constantly reminded of the dangers we are still in. We are not inventing this, if you look at other countries where the virus is you will see how it has evolved and we are managing the situation," he said.
Asked whether he was aware of a Covid-19 positive case, where the patient had contracted the virus at a bar, Rowley said, "I cannot speak to that but if it is confirmed then I would not be surprised because we do know how the virus is being transmitted from person to person and our response should be to try and limit that or eliminate that. Whenever someone gets infected they would have gotten it from somebody else and we need to minimise these kinds of exposures."
Rowley said he was pleased to spend the morning at the masjid to share in the feast of Eid-Ul-Adha. He was accompanied by Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein.
Rowley said, "This great feast where you slaughter a bull and share the meat. This is the first time I was here for Eid-Ul-Adha....I am grateful to have been invited and to accept."
Rowley said he felt rejuvenated and that enjoyed this country's unique cultures, which has continued even with the presence of Covid-19 and closed borders.
"These great religions, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and the wonderful way we live together as our brother's keeper and that is particularly valuable at this time as we are challenged by this Covid which is an experience happening once in a century," he said.
Rowley praised the masjid for adhering to the Covid-19 restrictions by practicing social distancing and wearing masks.