Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley 

Migrants, including Venezuelans living in Trinidad and Tobago, will receive Covid-19 vaccines says Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley.

The Prime Minister, who is also CARICOM chairman was responding to a question at a Covid-19 media briefing with Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday.

Rowley was asked what plan Trinidad and Tobago has for addressing the sizeable and informal migrant community particularly among Venezuelans when it comes to vaccines.

"In Trinidad and Tobago we have a fairly significant number of migrants within our border and we acknowledge the nature of the problem and we will only be successful in protecting our local population if everybody within our border gets the same kind of treatment, because to have a migrant population that is not covered by our concerns and our response is to maintain a population within which the the virus would be a permanent feature," said Rowley.

The Prime Minister said Trinidad and Tobago's effort of contact tracing will identify persons, whether they’re migrants or not and ensure they are treated so they do not suffer and pose any threat.

"We do have to look at everybody…fortunately, we have had relatively low levels of spread and we have not had an overbearing number within that particular population so we are not separating and discriminating against persons because that would make nonsense of our effort," said Rowley.

Ghebreyesus commended Rowley for his leadership in the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the "invisible enemy" of the virus cannot be defeated without solidarity.

"I would also like to recognise that Trinidad and Tobago, your country has done very well in this pandemic and this is because of your leadership, even without vaccines using simple public health solutions we can see from your own experience that this virus can be controlled," said Ghebreyesus.


The global battle for vaccines may cause major delays for small nations like Trinidad and Tobago in getting their populations inoculated.

While Government officials are hesitant to admit it, this country’s first shipment under the COVAX arrangement could be in ­trouble, given the worldwide scenario.

“Nothing has changed. We are still waiting for justice.”

This in essence is how residents feel eight months after they were promised action when they protested the police killings of three men as well as other social and economic issues.

In June 2020 when protests erupted in Port of Spain and environs following the police killings of three men in Morvant, the Morvant community and the surrounding areas of Beetham Gardens, Sea Lots, John John and other areas in East Port of Spain found themselves under the national spotlight.

For days, protesters held the country’s attention as they called for justice for Joel Jacob, Noel Diamond and Israel Moses Clinton who were shot and killed by police on June 27.

Protests alone do not bring about lasting change, says Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds.

He, however, noted there has indeed been peace in the communities since the protests.

“Change comes from thinking and planning and changes in behaviours and attitudes and approaches by all stakeholders—Government, NGOs, places of worship, families, communities, individuals, etc. So protests don’t change anything, it is work and action and shifts in attitudes and cultures,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Express yesterday.

“What are they telling me about International Women’s Day when daily women are suffering. I see images of suffering every day. I am not celebrating any International Women’s Day.”

So said self-employed Arima resi­dent Shelly-Ann Arthur last Thursday as the world preps to observe International Women’s Day (IWD) tomorrow.

The Sunday Express interviewed several women on the Brian Lara Promenade last week to get their views on IWD.

There’s an old adage—crime doesn’t pay.

This is however arguable, especially if your legal business profits from the existence and/or attempts to curb crime through bolstering a country’s national security apparatus or arming the citizenry and its law enforcement officers with legal gadgets.