Terrence Deyalsingh

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

MINISTER of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said that he is not afraid of the backlash for his condemnation of the 'reckless' behaviour of younger population in driving the Covid-19 Coronavirus in this country.

Deyalsingh's statement came on the heels of heavy condemnation for his public roasting of a young woman who said she was liming with relatives on their private beach on the weekend.

The woman has been identified as Samantha Ramischand, daughter of attorney at law Odai Ramischand, who has blasted Deyalsingh for his statements, and the police for investigating his daughter's posting of the video where she spoke of the 'private' beach visit.

At Wednesday's Covid-19 media briefing, Deyalsingh said that while he had received condemnation for the tongue-lashing, he had also received praise for it.

Deyalsingh said that his tongue-lashing of Samatha Ramischand was not a personal attack on her.

"This was not a personal attack. Someone chose to put themselves out there. I had to respond. Not everyone is reckless, but that reckless minority will endanger you. We are all in this together. And the unfortunate actions of one person, will mean we have to shut down businesses. If we shut down businesses then we will not have people to advertise. We are all interlinked in this", he said.

"I have received messages from many parents who say, 'At last somebody had the strength to talk to young people'. I took an oath of office recently to conduct myself without fear, favour, malice or ill will. I am not afraid. As the Minister of Health, I talk the truth. I am not afraid of the backlash- I anticipated it, I thought it would have been worse. But there is the fact that there have been positive reports. Parents have been calling me and saying, 'At last, someone is willing to take the bull by the horns'," said the health minister.

"I am not afraid. I have no regrets. We have to talk truth to power in this thing", said Deyalsingh.

The health minister had said on Monday that Samantha Ramischand's imperious behaviour was risking the lives of the population, and it showed that she "worshipped on the altars of denial and stupidity".

Deyalsingh said that that type of behavior exhibited by that woman was driving the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

He had said that young people's reckless behaviour was driving the second wave of Covid-19 in the country and that Samantha Ramischand's behaviour represented "a clear and present threat to my livelihood, to the livelihoods of every single worker in Trinidad and Tobago, and she characterized the worst of young people in the country."

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has since interviewed Samantha Ramischand and seized electronic items from her St Augustine home.

Since her video surfaced on social media, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has reiterated that that all beaches, rivers, and water parks remain closed in accordance with the Public Health Ordinance regulations, and there was no private or public beach.

The incident comes on the heels of criticism of the police over officers' handling of a private pool party at Bayside Towers in Cocorite last week, where partygoers were let off with a warning, prompting accusations of preferential treatment for certain citizens.