This country has been battling the COVID-19 pandemic for almost three months now and though we are not yet on firm ground, there appears to be some light at the end of this dark tunnel.

With a number of stringent measures put in place to enforce social distancing and place people in some type of self-quarantine, much has been said about the Government’s approach. I have been very impressed with efforts thus far and the results speak for themselves. One only has to look at our low levels of active cases and the so-called flattening of the curve to see that the efforts of the Government have been overwhelmingly successful.

Our remarkable efforts in combating this deadly virus have garnered international attention and recognition. A few days ago, a report from Oxford University ranked Trinidad and Tobago as second in the world in terms of preparedness to come out of the lockdown. This speaks volumes about the success of the policies and initiatives that were implemented to combat the spread of COVID-19 on our shores.

This report examined the success of controlling the spread, containment of the virus, capacity of the healthcare system, managing imported cases and communication with the public. In all of these, T&T’s ranking was among the best in the world. This is extraordinary for us, as a little country—where we tend to be highly cynical regarding anything any government does—to be viewed as world class in our efforts in combating a pandemic, when much of the world has faltered.

However, Oxford is not the only reputable international institution to recognise T&T’s efforts.

In the early days of our response, the European Union commended this country, “for the measured manner in which it has been proactively managing the challenges posed by the global coronavirus crisis”. The World Bank was very positive about our ability to withstand the economic fallout caused by COVID-19. In a published release it praised this country for its preparedness to confront the global pandemic, stating that we were more prepared than most Caribbean countries.

There has been much unwarranted criticism of the Government’s efforts which I think is fuelled by the politically charged atmosphere of an election year.

I am very proud of our world class efforts and the recognition they have garnered. More so I am grateful to our Government, public servants, healthcare professionals and essential workers for their commitment to duty and protection of our lives during this crisis.

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