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Dr Rai Ragbir and his deceased relative.

Opposition Member of Parliament for Cumuto/Manzanilla, Dr Rai Ragbir, says his family has been directly affected by the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus, as his grand father-in-law was among the six deaths reported by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, Ragbir said his relative had lost his battle to Covid-19 at the Couva Medical and Multi-Training Facility for 21 days.

He passed away on Tuesday morning.

“I DID NOT EXPECT IT….NOR WAS I PREPARED FOR SUCH NEWS….even in the midst of a Global Pandemic….that someone so close to home would fall prey to this dreaded virus,” he wrote.

Ragbir, a medical doctor, said he had now experienced the loss and pain felt by other families who had lost loved ones to Covid-19.

“To all those who have lost loved ones, you to have experienced the pain and agony of it, “HITTING CLOSE TO HOME”….I join with you in solidarity, I share in your loss, I lift up your countenance towards the Almighty, acknowledging that "HIS WILL BE DONE,” he said.

His relative, Ragbir said, was a delight to be around and gave “sheer joy and laughter” to everyone around him.

“It became routine…..but as a medical practitioner, how do you treat with and accept the reality that one near and dear to you have succumbed to the very ailment that you guarded your patients about and against….in other words, when it hits home, you are never prepared to fully accept the reality that it could have happened to me,” he said.

Last month, Ragbir was among the Opposition MPs to receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Ragbir said he has been having community consultations on the advantages of the Covid vaccine.

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The Covid-19 death toll jumped again yesterday, with five added deaths being reported by the Ministry of Health.

The death toll from the virus now stands at 196.

The latest deaths included one elderly male and one middle-age male, both with co-morbidities; as well as two middle-age males and one middle-age female, without co-morbidities.

Pandemic tears.

Both Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday confessed to being reduced to tears in the face of their “disappointment” over “the response of the national community to pandemic restrictions” and the tragic consequences that flow from it.

The Government deepened and tightened its containment measures from midnight last night, announcing that with the exception of essential services the country goes into extended lockdown until May 23.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called on the Government to engage all stakeholders to form a united front to fight Covid-19.

“This is a time for humility and not a time for arrogance. The UNC and many stakeholders have been trying to assist since the beginning of this crisis, but the Government has pursued its own way,” Persad-Bissessar stated in a news release yesterday.

A gift of 100,000 vaccines from China will make its way to Trinidad and Tobago from next week, says Health Minister Terrence Deyal­singh.

He added that some 33,600 AstraZeneca vaccines will also be arriving at Piarco on Monday from the COVAX facility.

Speaking yesterday at the Prime Minister’s news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Deyalsingh noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had given approval to the Sino­pharm vaccine for emergency use.

NATIONAL flags across the country will be flying at half-mast today as former minister of energy and energy industries Franklin Khan is laid to rest.

Khan’s funeral will be held from 10 a.m. at Aramalaya Presbyterian Church in Tunapuna, with only ten people at the service in keeping with Covid-19 regulations.