Health Ministry Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram has ordered a full probe into television show host Ian Alleyne’s alleged detention after allegedly receiving discharge papers at the Caura Hospital.
He made the comment during yesterday’s virtual COVID-19 update press briefing, saying he was awaiting reports from several agencies.
However, while it was clear whom they were referring to, neither Parasram nor Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh called any names regarding the matter of “the patient.”
Queries arose after Alleyne’s attorney Gerald Ramdeen sent a pre-action protocol letter to the CMO on Tuesday demanding Alleyne’s discharge. This after Alleyne was reportedly discharged from Caura after being hospitalised with the COVID virus but he was then told there was an error with his results and he could no longer leave.
Yesterday morning – after Parasram and Deyalsingh spoke – Ramdeen said the matter was to be heard in court at 2 pm by Justice Rahim. However, that matter was subsequently adjourned to today.
At yesterday’s briefing, Parasram said officials at Caura Hospital were to give him a report on the issue by the end of yesterday or today. He said he’d sought a detailed report stating what had happened. Other information was coming from T&T Public Health Labs (TTPHL) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which does the virus tests and delivers them to TTPHL.
Parasram said he hoped to get all the information within a few days and would then be in a better position to give a statement.
Asked about general COVID quarantining, Parasram said if one is tested positive, under the Quarantine act – which covers COVID -, they should be placed in one of the two facilities for such patients (Couva or Caura hospitals) to halt spread to their family and community.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, upset over the issue, said the Attorney General’s response to the pre-action letter noted that Parasram hadn’t yet received the letter, but it came to his attention via the media. Deyalsingh slammed the alleged “public political spectacle”, which he said distracted from battling the virus.
He called on all to resist the urge to “politicise this and fight legal battles” since they were “becoming part of the problem.” Deyalsingh said, “some people with political aspiration, intent for their own short term political gain”, wanted to capsize the situation, but this held potential for “untold damage” to the COVID response and they weren’t acting in T&T’s interest.
He read parts of the AG’s response to the pre-action letter.
On people challenging the Quarantine act and other regulations, claiming their rights were being infringed, Deyalsingh said he’d leave that for the AG to address.
He claimed fighting the issue in the public domain would lead to”letting the virus win” and publishing the pre-action letter was to be strongly “frowned on”.
“This is a time to put away political weapons of destruction, let’s save our energy for the fight against the virus, not courtroom – if we go there the virus will laugh at us,” Deyalsingh said.