Dominic Hadeed

doing our part: Dominic Hadeed

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has questioned whether Wednesday’s motion of no confidence against National Security Minister Stuart Young was “shut down” to prevent her from revealing further mismanagement of Government’s exemption policy to enter Trinidad and Tobago.

This as the Siparia MP yesterday said she received information that “on January 26, 2021, the Ministry of National Security granted an exemption request from Blue Waters Ltd for 39 persons from Honduras to enter Trinidad and Tobago on January 28”.

“A request that appears to have been made 11 days prior, on January 15,” Persad-Bissessar claimed in a statement yesterday. “It is insulting to the thousands of citizens of this country who have been stranded abroad, forced to beg and plead to return home, for non-nationals to be granted exemptions with haste.”

Persad-Bissessar said as a concerned population the country must ask “how many non-nationals has Stuart Young granted exemptions to while citizens who have toiled to build this nation have been blocked out”.

Blue Waters chief executive officer Dominic Hadeed yesterday defended the exemptions, saying that technicians from Honduras were necessary for replacement of a main bottling line at the company’s Orange Grove bottled water plant.

In a telephone interview, Hadeed said had the line not been replaced, production would have been halved and at least 600 employees forced on the breadline.

Asked his feelings about the Opposition Leader’s disclosure, Hadeed there was no issue with questions being asked and Blue Waters was willing to answer them.

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That spike, says Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram, is T&T’s deadliest third wave of Covid-19.

He predicts that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Trinidad and Tobago is now under a state of emergency.

A curfew is also in effect, requiring citizens to stay in their homes between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions made for essential workers.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the measures yesterday, one day after the business community called for an state of emergency and curfew to be implemented in an effort to bring the Covid-19 case count under control.

The parallel healthcare system is at near capacity, even as hundreds of new Covid-19 cases are being reported daily.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, Principal Medical Officer, Institutions, noted that more people are being admitted to hospital daily than those being discharged.

Young people are most hesitant about taking the Covid-19 vaccine, while those aged 65 and older are more likely than any other age group to express interest in getting it.

This is according to data of a 2021 Consumer Economic Study (CES) conducted by Market Facts & Opinions (2000) Ltd (MFO) over the period April 14 to May 3, 2021.

Respondents were asked to indicate their perceptions of the Covid-19 vaccine, and whether they were prepared to be vaccinated.