Deyalsingh prepares for ‘second and third wave’ of virus, Young still tightlipped on security firms

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the government is preparing for a possible second and third wave of the Covid-19 virus and has secured 838 beds across the five regional health authorities at ‘tremendous cost to the country in this time of low economic activity’.

The increased capacity of the RHA’s, according to Deyalsingh, should allow persons to recover faster, help flatten the curve and create a safer work environment for healthcare workers. He repeated his plea to the public—and, in particular, young men—to do their part by acting responsibly.

Photo: Members of the public practice social distancing in Manila.

“The only way to reduce this tsunami to a wave or ripple is by positive societal behaviour,” said Deyalsingh. “Let us together save Trinidad and Tobago.”

At present, the twin island has tested 1,126 samples for Covid-19, via the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), with 113 confirmed cases, eight deaths and 16 discharged patients.

Chief medical officer Dr Roshan Parasram confirmed, as Wired868 reported yesterday evening, that 19 persons quarantined at a facility in Balandra were also released yesterday after three successive negatives. In so doing, Parasram reversed an earlier position, which was that once any member of the group in Balandra tested positive, the entire group would restart their quarantine for another 14 days.

Instead, after a month in Balandra, the 19 passengers of the Costa Favolosa cruise ship were allowed to return home over the Easter weekend. All the discharged patients were asked to self-isolate for a further seven days and report any symptoms to a specified medical officer.

Deyalsingh said the Health Ministry expects to receive 10,000 masks in the upcoming week, which will be distributed through a NGO. In the meantime, he urged members of the public to make their own masks, which can be done with an old jersey or bandana.

Photo: A man wears a protective face mask as a preventive measure against the new coronavirus in Caracas, Venezuela on 24 March 2020.
(Copyright AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

National Security Minister Stuart Young repeated his condemnation of a Trinidad Express article, which quoted citizens marooned in Barbados who said they felt discriminated against on account of race, and a subsequent editorial in the Sunday Express today.

Young suggested he has now ‘corrected’ the Express’ position and held that view—even when asked by Wired868 whether ‘corrected’ was the proper word when two persons or entities had different opinions on a topic.

Wired868 also asked for the procurement process in the Ministry of National Security’s selection of four security firms on 2 April, the neighbourhoods they patrolled on 6 and 7 April and at what cost to taxpayers.

Young replied that he followed a programme implemented by the previous government in 2014.

Pressed for a direct answer, Young replied ‘it is a very long list—starting in the west and going to the east’ and promised to publish the respective neighbourhoods.

It should be noted that Wired868 did not ask for a list of the neighbourhoods patrolled in 2014 but only which ones were visited by private security firms, at taxpayers’ expense, on 6 and 7 April.

Photo: National Security Minister Stuart Young shows proof of his investigation into Jagdesh Pramsook, a scared 70 year old Trinidad and Tobago citizen who resides in Venezuela, during a press conference on 24 March 2020.

Young still did not give a cost of those patrols or a clear answer as to the process used to hire the four firms.

The firms hired were: Allied Security Limited, Amalgamated Security Services Limited, Innovative Security Technologies Limited and Protective Agencies Limited.

In a previous press conference, Young said that there was no penalty incurred by the state for cancelling the contracts.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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