Dr Bishnu Ragoonath.

There’s a call from political analysts for stricter enforcement of COVID health protocols during election campaigning, including for Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to wear a mask.

Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath and former diplomat Reginald Dumas have called for tighter enforcement of COVID-19 protocols during the campaigning for the August 10 election and Dumas also called for Persad-Bissessar to lead by example and wear a mask.

She wore a mask during a campaign event in Moruga/Tableland yesterday.

Both spoke to Guardian Media yesterday following the Health Ministry’s media briefing.

The recent discovery of several cases in the last week brought the number of cases up to 148.

Ragoonath said the current COVID situation is community spread.

“We haven’t been able to test as much as we should have been testing and it’s not because of lack of tests but rather people didn’t want to be tested. Some were afraid and worried if they’d be quarantined and put in hospital. They simply refused to get tested and now it’s a reality we have to deal with,” he said.

Ragoonath said he didn’t think a decision on putting off election will be made just yet and there’s a month to go before schools reopen.

“But one of the keys is to ensure all health protocols are followed to the letter,” he said.

Dumas added that elections couldn’t be postponed unless maybe Parliament says so. Parliament has been prorogued.

“I don’t think we should postpone, but the health protocols must now be strictly applied to everybody – supermarkets, churches, businesses and who step out of line – send (Police Commissioner Gary) Griffith for them.”

‘’Also we’re seeing pictures of all these candidates out campaigning – hugging up people, shaking hands all over. How are you observing protocols when you’re hugging voters? The Opposition Leader has also been seen out there without a mask. The health protocols apply to her as well.”(GA)