Bruce

Ninety-four-year old Lionel Duncan is assisted by his daughter Caren Duncan at the La Romaine Health Centre on Thursday. Duncan told the Express that her father arrived at the health facility at 6am yesterday and had no other option but to sit on the sidewalk to await his chance to get the Covid-19 vaccine. They both left the facility without being vaccinated. -Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has again lambasted Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh for a second day of vaccine problems.

In a statement, Persad-Bissessar called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to take charge of the Health Ministry and fire Deyalsingh for the "manufactured disaster" he created.

Hundreds of elderly people turned up at various health centres yesterday only to be turned away and told that there is a limit of 50 vaccines.

"It is also illogical and downright foolish to allocate 50 vaccines per health centre thereby vaccinating a mere 1800 elderly people a day when a proper plan can be implemented with the assistance of the Opposition and stakeholders to have mass vaccinations in a shorter time frame," stated Persad-Bissessar.

The former Prime Minister stated that after Wednesday's "super spreader" vaccination event the Minister apologised and said a new alphabetical system would be used.

"The impression was given that the elderly with the surnames A-E can visit a health centre today and receive their vaccines. At no time did the Minister indicate that only 50 jabs would be available," she stated.

Persad-Bissessar stated that a "nightmare" unfolded as the elderly came out in their numbers and again were chased away.

"In my own constituency of Siparia I received reports of many being turned away at the Siparia District Health Facility. The elderly stood in lines for two and three hours only to be told that there is a limit on vaccines," she stated.

Persad-Bissessar questioned why are the elderly being exposed to the virus and why was such cruelty being inflicted on them.

"It is unconscionable, reckless, heartless and irresponsible for Minister Deyalsingh to treat people in this manner and continue defiantly walking on a failed path," she stated.

"Every day we are recording double digit Covid-19 deaths of mostly our elderly population and Minister Deyalsingh must be held accountable," she stated.

"Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley must rein in his Minister and take control of the Health Ministry himself or replace him with someone who is competent." stated Persad-Bissessar.

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A total of 200,000 Sinopharm vaccines from China arrived in Trinidad yesterday.

Trinidad and Tobago had received a gift of 100,000 Sinopharm vaccines previously from the Chinese government, bringing the total to 300,000 so far. A plane touched down at Piarco International Airport yesterday with the vaccines.

The online mockery generated from a social media post from the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago announcing that it had donated 80 vials of Covid-19 vaccine to this country was reported on international news site Business Insider.

THE Ministry of Health was aware of an incoming donation of 80 vials of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine “just prior” to its arrival in the country, but the necessary documents for the United States’ gift to the Ministry of National Security were up to yesterday not yet sorted.