The Office of the Attorney General has described a pre-action protocol letter issued on behalf of Crime Watch talk show host Ian Alleyne, who tested positive for COVID-19, as a theatre of public and political spectacle.
Alleyne’s attorney Gerald Ramdeen sent the letter to Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram on Tuesday, challenging the decision not to discharge his client from the Caura Hospital after he had allegedly tested negative twice.
A release from the Office of the AG, signed by attorney Tennile Ramkissoon, yesterday said the CMO had instructed them that Alleyne tested positive for the virus on March 24 and April 8, 2020, negative on April 12 and positive on April 14. It said the sample which resulted in the positive test was taken on April 13, 2020. As such, it said Alleyne did not meet the conditions for discharge from quarantine at the present time.
“The Executive has at all times acted and continues to act lawfully and unconstitutionally. The combination of your client’s own dissemination of dramatic videos to the public on the night of March 25, 2020, after he expressed fear of public embarrassment and the need for confidentiality, coupled with the dispatch of your own letter to the media tonight before delivery to the Chief Medical Officer, can easily lead one to believe quite regrettably that the theatre of public and political spectacle seems paramount to your client. Surely, it cannot be lost upon the average observer that both your client and you yourself have been active politicians for the Opposition United National Congress,” the AG’s letter stated.
In giving the background, the letter said it was Alleyne who contacted Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh by telephone on March 24, and informed him he had tested positive “and that he was afraid of the public embarrassment that could be caused by the spectacle of members of the TTPS taking (him) Alleyne into quarantine pursuant to the provisions of the Quarantine Act, Chapter 28:01”.
The letter said Deyalsingh “specifically informed Alleyne that he knew nothing of any matter relating to his medical condition, let alone his results. However, it noted that Deyalsingh made inquiries that same night and attempted to call Alleyne to report his findings and to assuage Alleyne’s anxiety.
“Despite several attempts, Alleyne did not take any telephone calls from the minister,” the letter noted.
It said Ramdeen subsequently called Deyalsingh and informed him he was acting on behalf of Alleyne.
“Thereafter, you personally co-ordinated your client’s voluntary admission into quarantine, going as far as to send Alleyne’s address to the Minister of Health by Whatsapp so that he could be transported by ambulance services,” Ramkissoon said in the letter.
“Quite shockingly, that very night of March 24, and before Alleyne was transported up by ambulance services arranged through you (Ramdeen), your client posted two separate videos of himself on social media by which he tearfully and quite dramatically informed the world that he had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and that he would be admitted into quarantine.”
Ramkissoon also criticised Ramdeen for sending the letter to the media before it was received by Parasram.
“Your said letter to Dr Parasram, the Chief Medical Officer, has not been received by him, but has come to his attention through the courtesy of members of the media who have given wide national coverage of it tonight.”
She also said Ramdeen’s letter was “premised upon factual inaccuracies” spring-boarding into premature threatened action”.