Citing the death of a COVID-19 patient in Trinidad, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called for a 14 day nationwide shutdown to tackle the deadly virus.
The former Prime Minister stated that as responsible representatives of the people, it is the Opposition’s firm belief that the Government must take decisive and tough actions to preserve and protect the health of the citizens.
"A Covid-19 positive patient at the Couva Hospital has died. We extend our deepest condolences, and we must be cognizant of the serious implications and consequences which may follow " she stated.
Persad-Bissessar stated that Government had indicated that more than 20,000 nationals have returned to Trinidad and Tobago in the last two weeks and are reportedly in self-quarantine.
She said this requires that the State identifies these persons and ensure that they self-isolate.
Persad-Bissessar noted that globally the countries which have taken early, preemptive and decisive actions have proven to be those countries which have most effectively contained the rapid spread of the virus.
"The Government has recognized that moral suasion has not had the desired effect, and in spite of repeated calls for good sense to prevail, it is clear that some have not listened," she stated
She added that the key to getting ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic is early decisive action, which contains the disease before it can overwhelm the public health system.
"We cannot afford to treat this issue lightly. The lives of our citizens are at risk, and every measure to protect them must be taken. This is about putting citizens first. We remain resolute that citizens must remain calm and keep themselves and their families safe, but the State must act.
In this regard, I strongly urge the Prime Minister to immediately institute a fourteen day shutdown of non-essential services and businesses, to better protect our citizens," stated Persad-Bissessar.
Unconfirmed details with respect to the patient who died stated that the 77 year old man presented at the San Fernando General hospital on March 13, 2020.
It stated the the man came to Trinidad from New York on February 5, 2020 and fell ill long after the 14 incubation period for the deadly virus.
The information circulated stated that the man presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath and loss of appetite for two days.
It added that on admission to the hospital this temperature was 39.3 Celsius.
The man reportedly died today.