Rodney charles

Naparima Member of Parliament Rodney Charles

Opposition MP Rodney Charles, 72, wants to live and therefore wants the Covid-19 vaccine.

“I am 72 years of age, it’s probably my last years in Parlia­ment; I am in an at-risk group and therefore vulnerable to the ravages of Covid. I thought I would leave Parliament in honour, but it looks like under this PNM, I’m going to leave in a coffin,” he said at the United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Monday.

He noted a BBC report which said the Covid vaccine cuts the risk of serious illness by 80 per cent in the over-80-year group and in the over-70-year group, it will cut serious illnesses significantly.

“I want to l live, I don’t want (Health Minister Terrence ) Deyalsingh coming and spouting nice talk...talk does not let you live a fulfilling life,” he said, adding he is sure a vaccine will save his life.

Pointing to the vaccination drive in Barbados under Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Charles said:

“I want to suggest that we ask Barbados to lend us their Prime Minister for vaccines...if it is possible under the Constitution....we could do with her.”

He noted that Barbados, with a population of 287,000, has already vaccinated 35,000 of its citizens for Covid, over 12 per cent of their population.

He said Trinidad and Tobago, with the 2,000 vaccines gifted by Barbados, has vaccinated 0.08 per cent of its population.

Charles said if the Opposition Leader writes the Indian prime minister for vaccines, “what the hell is wrong with that? We talking about the lives of citizens”.

We like freeness

Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal also fired jabs.

“In the last few days (PM Dr) Keith Rowley had time to call on (US) President Biden to remove sanctions on Venezuela, but he does not have time to call on (India) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to give us vaccines to save our lives. Kamla Persad-Bissessar would have generated a phone call to Delhi to make a request to save the lives of citizens,” he said.

Moonilal said a quintessential characteristic of Trinidadians is we like everything free.

He said Government has been “sitting on their hands” with respect to vaccines since last year as he noted that India is supplying 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines.

“They were waiting for India to look for you, get a torchlight to find your island in the Caribbe­an and say, ‘Boss Rowley, Lord Rowley, you want vaccine, too?’” he said.

He said other countries in the region wrote the Indian government in “beautiful, poetic language” requesting free vaccines.

He criticised the “temerity” of Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne to question Persad-Bissessar writing to India’s prime minister for vaccines.

Moonilal said Persad-Bisses­sar was right as the Government was doing nothing.

He chided Deyalsingh for en­gaging in public relations with respect to the vaccines gifted to T&T by Barbados.

“Deyalsingh, when the first lady got her vaccine...he chook up heself, as we would say, next to the lady; if you miss the needle on her arm, you stick he,” he said.

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Eight days after taking the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, 60-year-old Ijaz Haniff who suffered blood clotting and paralysis, has died.

The records at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) did not name the vaccine as cause of death.

Sixty-four new Covid-19 cases have been recorded by the Ministry of Health.

In its daily update yesterday, the ministry noted the new cases were detected in samples taken over a three-day period between April 13 and April 15.