Trinidad e Tobago
STAFF at animal shelters are now deemed as essential workers under the amended stay at home orders set to take effect from midnight Sunday until April 15. On Thursday, the Prime Minister announced Cabinet’s agreement to forbid all non-essential activities during this period in an attempt to limit the number of people going to work. At a press conference on Friday morning, National Security Minister highlighted the areas considered as essential, of which animal shelter workers were not included. The regulations did, however, include workers employed in veterinary health, and the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines, drugs and food for animals. But in the amended regulations, which revoked the earlier list, made available on Saturday, included, “workers who must look after and feed animals at zoos and animal shelters.” For the past two weeks, animal shelters have been urging the public to adopt or foster animals as staff’s working hours are being reduced due to covid19, which means less time spent with the animals. The essential services are: - Judiciary and legal services - Cabinet - Tobago House of Assembly - Police - Defence Force - Immigration - Strategic Services Agency - Hospitals - Water - Electricity - Telecommunications - Funeral homes - Sanitation - Prisons - Rehabilitation centres and other detention centres - Children’s homes - Disabled homes - Elderly and geriatric homes - Private security - Social workers and NGOs that serve the less fortunate - Banks - Unit Trust Corporation - Cooperative services, - Service providers of safety and sanitation such as plumbers. - Live-in domestic workers - Convenience stores, corner shops, discount stores - Supermarkets - Groceries - Pharmacies - Hardwares - All government services (minimum staff) - Inland Revenue - Customs and Excise - Transportation and logistic services - Port operations - Manufacturers of food, beverages and pharmaceuticals - Aviation and airport operations - Services related to ports - Warehouses - Public transportation but at 50 per cent capacity - Restaurants can have take away and delivery. - Media - Agriculture: food production - Energy services: oil and gas - UWI’s Seismic Research Unit - Construction workers only in health-related work
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ONE week after the UK repatriated their citizens from TT amidst the covid-19 pandemic, the US has chartered a flight for its citizens here wanting to go home. In a tweet on Saturday the US Embassy said any of their citizens willing to leave can book a flight scheduled to leave at noon on April 1. The private charter flight will land in Miami. Last week British High Commissioner to TT Tim Stew, on his Twitter account, reported that the British Airways repatriation flights were available on March 23, 24 and 26 "thanks to the TT Government." In a media release issued on Friday, the US Embassy advised their citizens interested in returning to the US to visit the website www.tt.usembassy.gov, to complete the repatriation assistance form located in the March 26 alert on the covid19 page. Questions can be emailed to [email protected] with the subject line Return Travel to the United States. TT closed its borders on March 23 to all incoming international passenger flights. The US Embassy asked that their citizens register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.step.state.gov. STEP allows the Embassy to directly contact citizens in an emergency. The Embassy said they will contact their citizens as options become available and provide further instructions at that time and invited them to follow their social media pages for updates as well as their website, tt.usembassy.gov. Those who are registering with STEP are asked to include their full name as it appears on their passport if accompanying a minor with their passport number, birth date and issue date.
A third person has died of covid19, and the number of confirmed cases is now 76. This was announced via a release by the Ministry of Health at about 4 pm on Saturday. A total of 500 samples have been tested, while one person has been discharged. The latest advisory does not give details on the newest confirmed cases. In a previous update on Saturday morning, the ministry said the number rose to 74 from 66 on reported on Friday. This means ten people tested positive within 24 hours. The afternoon update restated that most of the cases originate from the group of people who returned to TT from a cruise in Guadeloupe more than a week ago. “Of the number of positive cases, 49 of these positive cases came from the group of nationals who recently returned from a cruise. “Forty-six positive cases from the group of 68 nationals who returned from the cruise together, three positive cases from the group of nationals who returned from the same cruise, separately.” The confirmed cases are being treated at the Couva and Caura hospitals. On Friday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said TT was at the "tipping point" and anticipated a exponential rise in cases, if the almost 20,000 nationals, who returned to the country before the borders closed last week, do not self-quarantine. The ministry, again, urged the public to practice proper hand hygiene, avoid touching their faces, avoid going in public unnecessarily and gathering in groups larger than 10. Several measures have been taken by the government to urge people to stay in their homes to prevent the possible spread of the virus including closing TT's borders and limiting the number of passengers in public vehicles. From midnight on Sunday, only essential workers would be allowed to report for duty as hundreds of businesses and other public services shut their doors for two weeks.
The owner of a bar in Central Trinidad who tried to cash in on month-end sales reportedly ignoring an order compelling him to close his business to prevent the possible spread of covid19 has been arrested and charged. A statement from the police said the 29-year-old man identified as Daryl Sirju was allegedly caught red-handed running his business at Southern Main Road in California on Friday night. The statement said officers were alerted to the breach of the Public Health Ordinance regulations which mandates the closure of bars, in-house dining at restaurants, casinos and other clubs until April 20. Police went to the location and found the bar opened for business and sales being conducted. Under the Public Health (2019 Novel Coronavirus) Regulations, it is an offence for any person, to conduct the business of a bar, whether or not the person is a licensed person under the Liquor Licences Act. Police are reminding the public that anyone who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for six months. "The TTPS also takes the opportunity to advise the public that all Police Divisions, as of March 25, commenced telephoning and visiting selected persons, who were ordered to be in self-quarantine by the Chief Medical Officer and his authorised staff." Close to 20, 000 people who arrived during the last two weeks have been advised to isolate themselves from public activity in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus which has so far claimed two lives and infected 74 people. It said while many people have complied with the request, some have not. The police have been provided with a list of all those people, their address and telephone numbers. The police warned people not to breach their quarantine order, nor break the laws that are in force to prevent the spread of the virus. Such offenders can be arrested and/or prosecuted for offences.
There will be a minor delay in payments via cheques only in April for recipients of social welfare grants (senior citizens’ pension, disability and public assistance grants). So advised the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services on Friday in a media release. The delay came as a result of changes in working arrangements among stakeholders. As a consequence, cheques will be delivered by TTPost from April 1. People on direct deposit are not affected by this arrangement, the release said. They will be able to receive their funding directly in their bank accounts, as is customary. The ministry apologises for any inconvenience caused.
Martina Le Hunte, the mother of Public Utilities Minister and Senator Robert Le Hunte has died. She was 86. The minister told Newsday, on Saturday, she was ailing for some time and died on Friday night. “My mother was the wind beneath my wings. The silent force that ensured everything with her prayers and her kind words. “She was one that taught me a lot about love, about kindness, about gentleness. And her love was what allowed me to give others freely.” He said he is grateful for all the special times they shared together. Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell shared his condolences in a Facebook post on Saturday morning. He said, “With all that is happening, remember to send your prayers and thoughts to those who are experiencing loss in their lives. “I pray for God’s grace to be upon you as you celebrate her life and mourn her loss.” Earlier on Saturday, the Prime Minister also announced the death of his eldest brother, Matthias Joseph. He was 81.
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THE Prime Minister’s eldest brother has died. In a Facebook post on Saturday morning, Dr Rowley said his brother “passed away peacefully” at the Scarborough General Hospital on Friday night. He said, “I want to thank all those nurses and other health caregivers at Scarborough General Hospital for the care and attention provided to us all during his period of ailment. “I pray not for the burdens to be made lighter but for my shoulders to be strengthened to bear them.”
TT now has 74 confirmed cases of people who have tested positive for covid19. This was announced via a release by the Ministry of Health on Saturday morning. A total of 487 samples have been tested, while one person has been discharged and two patients have died. “Of the number of positive cases, 49 of these positive cases came from the group of nationals who recently returned from a cruise. “Forty-six positive cases from the group of 68 nationals who returned from the cruise together, three positive cases from the group of nationals who returned from the same cruise, separately.” The confirmed cases are being treated at the Couva and Caura hospitals. The Ministry, again, urged the public to practice proper hand hygiene, avoid touching their faces, avoid going in public unnecessarily and gathering in groups larger than 10. Several measures have been taken by the government to urge people to stay in their homes to prevent the possible spread of the virus including closing TT's borders and limiting the number of passengers in public vehicles. From midnight on Sunday, only essential workers would be allowed to report for duty as hundreds of businesses and other public services shut their doors for two weeks.
#QUARANTINE Quota – Live from D’ Living Room” is Selvon ”Mistah Shak” Noel’s way of using his ability to engage music as a tool to soothe and calm the nation as the world faces the coronavirus scourge.
His living room live sessions started initially to counteract some negative public statements. But the Siparia-born calypsonian, musician, singer and songwriter has pledged to continue to strum his guitar from his living room delivering powerful local melodies over the next few weeks or months as long as the world grapples with the covid19 spread.
“I'll be doing what I can, where I stand, using the natural tools of the talents and blessings bestowed upon I and I to counteract some of the hateful, destructive, 'chupid' energy being put out there,” he said. He kicked off the series with a cover version of the late Winston “Shadow” Bailey’s One Love.
Giving an insight into how the series evolved, Shak said, “In the midst of this unprecedented global crisis I have and seen and heard from certain quarters and individuals within our society some of the vilest, most hateful, ‘out-ah-timing, dotish’ ideas and statements.”
“I've even observed some of our own, who many of us exalt as leaders and exemplars and so ought to know and do better, try to shield their obscene greed, hatred, irresponsibility and selfishness behind things like politics, journalism, law, rights, freedoms, entitlements and most appallingly, God and religion.”
He questioned, “Even under these kinds of circumstances that is where some of us reach? Using the blessings of being alive and healthy in this time to do this?”
Drawing from the national song vault, Shak decided to use his gift of music to demonstrate “who we really ought to be especially in these challenging times. And what better way to kick it off than with a global classic from my all time number one Trinbagonian singer, songwriter, kaisonian, musical wizard Dr Bailey.”
“I feel my most valuable contribution in a situation like this is my music. As a nation we have always been through situations and through our music and artiste and art we have led the way. Through our artistry we bolster and give hope and show who we are supposed to be in situations like that.”
He said it is his way of putting those things together and offering something through his gift "to counter that negative non-productive energy.”
Shadow’s One Love cover is the first he has done, putting his own twist a la Mistah Shak's styling. Noting TT has a treasure chest of songs to draw from, he said his future selections will be based on how he feels.
“I’ll do it as I feel it,” he said.
“I have always been doing that but in a situation like this people would have no choice really but to focus on the more sobering side of things that might be little easier to ignore and discard and overlook when things normal. At times like these you have don’t a choice but to pay attention to the more sobering things to bring a different energy and refocus people.”
Like other entertainers Shak's future remains uncertain as engagements and events have been cancelled. At the moment, he is in discussion with his management to figure out innovative ways to plan for the foreseeable future.
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AN 18-year-old St James resident was stabbed to death in Morvant on Friday night, one week after his friend was shot dead. Leonardo Scott, of Bournes Road, was killed while his friend, identified only as Bradley, remains hospitalised in a serious condition. Police said Scott, known as Leo to his friends, crashed his mother's Nissan Tiida trying to escape his attackers. The stabbing took place shortly after 10 pm when he went to Coconut Drive, Morvant to drop off a female friend. Last Friday, Joseph Chase, 19, also of Bournes Road, was shot dead while liming near his home. Chase was buried on Thursday and on Friday, Scott and other members of their car group, Different Concepts, gathered in memory of him. Friends of Scott said he went to Morvant to drop home a female friend who was at the memorial. Morvant and homicide police are continuing their investigations.