UNC Naparima candidate Rodney Charles, centre, during a walkabout in his constituency on Tuesday.

Is the Government testing the Venezuelan nationals for COVID-19?

That question was raised by United National Congress (UNC) Naparima Member of Parliament Rodney Charles at the party’s virtual meeting last night.

Charles’ question came as contact tracing of two cases is currently being done for possible local spread.

Charles said that after Minister of National Security Stuart Young praised the lockdown of the borders, he admitted that the Government was unable to patrol all the small inlets that illegal migrants can use to enter the country.

Charles said that there was no plan to deal with immigrants coming in from Venezuela.

“He (Young) refuses to accept that Venezuelans residing here are refugees. So where are we? He registered 16,000 Venezuelans without a plan for them. At the last minute, they got an extension to stay. Still no plan. What to do with the children born here who are citizens by birth?” Charles asked.

“Are we testing them for COVID-19?” he asked.

Charles said that according to his own research, other Caribbean islands were coping better than T&T.

He said while other countries in the Caribbean, like Grenada, were able to test upwards of 50,000 per million people, T&T has still tested fewer than 5,000 per million.

“And they did that without $20 billion and US$1.6 billion from the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund,” he said.

“They did it with less than $20 million US,” Charles said.(RS)