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Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar says “the chaos and confusion seen today as thousands rush for vaccines is yet another reminder of a failed Government led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. “

This morning hundreds turned out at health centres across the nation hoping to get vaccinated. Today is the first day of the new walk-in/first come first serve system implemented by the government, however, only healthcare workers, people over the age of 60, and people under 60 with NCDs are eligible at this time. The following is a press release from the Opposition Leader:

The mass chaos and confusion seen today as thousands rush for vaccines is yet another reminder of a failed Government led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

What we are witnessing is the mother of all ironies where during a State of Emergency to control and curb Covid -19 we have a super spreader situation happening with public vaccination.

It is nothing short of a nightmare and alarming as our nation is already grappling with a high death and infection rate.

This is similar to when the Prime Minister irresponsibly invited thousands to vacation in Tobago during the Easter holidays.

From day one the United National Congress has been saying that the Rowley Government has no plan for this pandemic and the nation at large.

The vaccine appointment system was overburdened and a failure and now this foolish idea of having a walk-in free for all has proven to be a flop.

The Opposition has repeatedly called on the Government to partner with all stakeholders in this Covid-19 fight in order to come to a comprehensive plan to no avail.

Trinidad and Tobago is under siege, the population is fed up, frustrated and suffering and the massive turnout for vaccines sends the message that the people are ready and willing to be inoculated to return to some form of normalcy.

But, sadly there is no leadership and another spike in our Covid-19 numbers looms with the disaster that has unfolded.

A Commission of Inquiry into Government’s management of the pandemic will also need to examine today’s travesty.

If I were Prime Minister today a pandemic plan would have already been implemented.

That plan would ensure that vaccines were sourced very early to prevent the death of hundreds and ensure the swift reopening of the economy.

My plan would see :

-a mass vaccination drive so that herd immunity can be achieved without putting citizens at risk :

  • partnership with private hospitals and doctors to have vaccines available at their facilities
  • partnership with religious bodies with medical staff deployed at large churches, mosques and temples to aid in vaccination
  • partnership with NGOs such as Living Waters and other entities to reach the immigrant population
  • partnership with Corporate T&T
  • partnership with the Opposition and Local Government bodies to have a vaccination roll out in all 41 constituencies
  • partnership with sporting bodies to volunteer and have to drive-through vaccination at our stadia
  • partnership with denominational school boards to utilise their schools to have teachers and principals inoculated

I urge the government to put their arrogance aside and take these recommendations on board if they are truly serious about saving the lives and livelihoods of our citizens.