Nirad Tewarie

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Members of the business community are satisfied that the measures implemented over the weekend by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley are a step in the right direction.

Business leaders had called for new, creative approaches to curb the COVID-19 spike.

President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud told Guardian Media yesterday, “We found the announcements made on Saturday by the Prime Minister and his team to be in keeping with the ideas that we were suggesting.”

“We find that it is encouraging to see that those who are managing this crisis have their thinking caps on and that we are making adjustments in an effort to try and get an improved result.”

President of the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T (AmchamTT) Nirad Tewarie also believed it was a step towards more creative solutions to ending the outbreak.

However, he said once that goal has been achieved there need to be creative discussions centred around economic recovery.

“What we need to do is ensure that once we are able to achieve this we are in a position where we are looking toward recovery,” he said.

“What is going to be required is some creative approaches and stimulus. Those measures and again not to be prescriptive, but we need to sit and discuss how we can stimulate the economy in a meaningful way in the short-term and then plan for economic growth in the medium to long-term.”

Saturday’s announcement that the government was able to procure additional doses of Sinopharm vaccines has also augered well with the T&T Chamber of Commerce.

“The announcement of additional vaccines will assist in reducing the level of anxiety among the population, as our rate of vaccination is relatively low in comparison to some other Caribbean countries. It is heartening to see the improvements in the vaccination strategy to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of the vaccines,” a release from the Chamber said.

The Chamber’s chief executive officer Gabriel Faria also noted that creative solutions are needed to also ramp up the vaccination drive.

“This may require out of the box thinking, today we all have to look at innovative ways to overcome whatever roadblocks we encounter. It may be also allowing doctors to vaccinate in their offices for their patients so you spread the crowds. It may be training the pharmacists to give vaccines. It may be flying in persons from Cuba or another country that has the number of Health care professionals to support a vaccination drive,” he said.

He said the Chamber stands ready to assist the government in any way necessary.

“The focus should not be on explaining what we can’t do and why but how can we do what we need to…the private sector has offered and the govt has the option to leverage the ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking of successful private sectors leaders. Let’s do this together for the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.