Keith Rowley

 Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

When news spread like wildfire yesterday that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had contracted Covid-19, people expressed “shock” and “surprise” while some even found it “passing strange” he had suddenly contracted the virus.

Those who felt it was “passing strange” no­ted that Rowley was to receive his first vaccine jab at the Scarborough Health Centre around 2.30 p.m., and wondered about the timing. Yet others wished him a speedy recovery after the Office of the Prime Minister disclosed Rowley started experiencing flu-like symptoms late on Monday and was subsequently tested for the virus.

Several people said the big question was: “Who gave Rowley Covid-19?” People said they were waiting with bated breath to see what the contract tracing would unearth. And some of Rowley’s more caustic critics said: “He does not want to answer questions about Tobago and the deadlock. Suddenly, you just got Covid-19.”

On the Brian Lara Promenade in Port of Spain, Sea Lots resident Nikita Warne said: “I think he must be scared to take the vaccine. He needs prayers. I came back from a life-and-death situation. Hooked up to machines. Prayers saved my life. He probably does not want to take the vaccine.”

Self-employed Chris­tian Cordner, who has opted not to take the vaccine, said: “Kamla Per­sad-Bissessar (Oppo­si­tion Leader) said ‘a little puncheon and sunshine’. That’s all Rowley needs to cure his Covid-19, espe­cially if he has it. Maybe they should do some more tests and see if he really has Covid-19.”

St James resident El­vin Tho­mas said he prefers to get Covid-19 rather than take the vaccine.

Earl Noel, 69, who was preparing for Ramadan, said: “What is all this fuss about Rowley getting Covid-19? He is a human being just like us. He can get sick. Why don’t you all write about when the regular man gets Covid-19?”

Newspaper vendor Cecil Benjamin and his friend Kit McClashie shared the same view, saying: “Rowley should lead by example and take the Covid-19 vaccine. He has to be an exemplar. He must take the vaccine when he gets better.”

Meanwhile jewelry vendor Nauth, who complained about being handcuffed by the police, said: “How can Rowley get Covid-19? It’s not easy to get close to him. But if he does have Covid-19, he will have the best doctors in the land. Let us see what happens after, whether or not he will take the vaccine.”


The South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is to hold a meeting with the family of Ijaz Haniff, the 60-year-old man who died after suffering a blood clot and paraly­sis days after he took the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The Muslim population is being urged to follow all Covid-19 protocols as they observe the month of Ramadan and prepare for Eid celebrations.

Director of Veterinary Public Health Dr Saed Rahaman made the call yesterday, as he noted Eid celebrations have been impacted by the pandemic for a second year.

The death of Energy Minister Franklin Khan will cause Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, currently in quarantine, to make his first Cabinet adjustment since the commencement of this term. 

MINISTER OF Energy, Franklin Khan, who died yesterday, is being remembered as a champion of the local energy industry who dedicated much of his working life to the development of T&T’s natural resources for the benefit of its citizens.

Dr Ralph Gonsalves cried openly and unashamedly on April 9 when La Soufriere blew its overheated top, presenting a world of challenges for the leader and country of 110,000 people.