On Saturday last Prime Minister Keith Rowley held a press conference updating the nation on the latest news and developments in the fight against the coronavirus. He indicated that we are seeing some light in the tunnel. He did not say at the end of the tunnel because we still have a way to go.

The points that brought the biggest smile to everyone’s faces would most certainly be the announcement of hundreds of thousands of vaccines soon to enter our country, mass vaccination (which has already begun) in collaboration with the private sector and the opening of the borders in the coming weeks if all goes well.

It must be noted that even though the Prime Minister and his Government had to deal with countless hurdles in acquiring the vaccines as well as protecting the nation by meticulously balancing the economic challenges and continuously supporting those in need, the Government has stood up to the challenge and continues to do it very well.

From fake news to conspiracy theorists, obstacles have been endless but not strong enough to stop the people of this country from being taken care of.

Let me remind each and every one of the citizens of this country that with all good intentions of the Government to overcome the coronavirus none of that will be effective unless we do what is required of each and every one of us.

Let us not use the bit of good news to get lackadaisical and drop our guard. Keep masking, sanitising, social distancing. Follow the rules, do not be distracted by those who continue to use the pandemic for political mileage, get vaccinated, do not be confused by vaccine brands. The best vaccine is the one that is available to you. Encourage others to get vaccinated. Let us remember to vaccinate and operate.

Nigel Seenathsingh

San Fernando

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The initiation of a Commission of Enquiry into the Government’s management of Covid-19, for which Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is so passionately clamouring, would be instructive if it presented an opportunity for the people of Trinidad and Tobago to hear from her just how she would have managed this health crisis had she been in charge.

The hush-hush arrival of a “small donation” of vials of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, flown in and apparently hand-delivered by courier to the Ministry of National Security, raises more questions than the number of vials involved.

I am repeatedly asked by various stakeholders whether Covid-19 vaccination could be made mandatory, so today I offer some initial thoughts.

This is not a clear-cut legal question and there are good arguments on both sides. There is no law, precedent or policy which governs the matter at present. Labour law, public health and human rights issues intermingle and ultimately, what is reasonable and in the majority interest would likely prevail.

I hope the Government considers giving a booster shot of the Sinopharm vaccine if supplies are available to this country. Dr Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, said T&T will receive 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China this week.

Did the staff at the health centres know only 50 persons could have been be vaccinated per day? When they realised this, did they not think to register the names and telephone numbers of the other elderly citizens already in line from 5.30 a.m. who were sent home when the vaccinations ran out?

Why would a person willingly give up their family, job and community to embark on an illegal, dangerous journey to another country?

In the case of the Venezuelans, it’s because they are generally running away from unbearable, life-threatening circumstances.