Minister in the Ministry of Finance Brian Manning during his contribution on the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority Bill, 2021, during yesterday’s sitting of the House of Representatives.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance Brian Manning, who has reportedly been quarantined at Couva Hospital after contracting COVID-19, is doing fine.

This was the word from People’s National Movement party officials after word of Manning’s quarantine circulated yesterday afternoon.

Manning, in his mid-40s, is said to have been hospitalised very recently Yesterday he was online communicating with people, including PNM officials. However, Manning didn’t reply to What’s App messages from the Sunday Guardian.

Manning had been in the House of Representatives last week Wednesday when he completed his contribution in debate on the T&T Revenue Authority bill.

San Fernando East MP Manning is the second Government minister to come down with the virus recently, officials noted.

Government and Opposition MPs had been vaccinated months ago.

Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe, who tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous week, was among those vaccinated. She said in news reports a few days ago that she and several staff members of the National Commission for Self-Help tested positive for COVID-19. They were also in quarantine.

Cudjoe developed symptoms, including tiredness, dry cough and sweating, but is recovering. She answered the Sunday Guardian’s call yesterday. Cudjoe, who will be in quarantine until the next two weeks, will be unable to vote in tomorrow’s Tobago House of Assembly elections.

Cudjoe had also been in isolation last month when she and other campaigning PNMites were primary contacts of PNM Bethel/New Grange candidate Downie Marcelle. He developed COVID, recuperated and was back to work. Cudjoe and the other team members didn’t develop the virus and she was cleared after two weeks, but now has it.

Yesterday, Unity of the People candidate Nikocy Phillips (Buccoo) said she took a PCR test out of precaution, as she’s on the ground campaigning and she tested negative according to results received last Friday. None of the Progressive Democratic Patriots or PNM’s candidates are ill.

However, up to yesterday, there were 42 more COVID cases in Tobago and last Friday, there were 110 new ones.

Also, according to the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development, Tobago has 826 active COVID cases. This includes 771 people in home isolation, 48 in state isolation and seven in ICU.

Last Friday, PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley said people who were quarantined or are ill with COVID and isolated would be breaching public health regulations if they emerged to vote tomorrow.

How the cases might affect the voter turnout remains ahead. In January’s THA poll with 51,061 electors – and with PNM, PDP and two independents contesting – a total of 26,474 votes were received. There are more electors for tomorrow’s elections – 51,383.