Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley crushed speculation that Carnival will take place later in the year once COVID-19 vaccinations get underway.

Speaking during a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre yesterday, Rowley said: “As long as the problem we’re facing is a problem rooted and fertilised by congregation and closeness of people, that’s (Carnival at this time) an oil and water situation. Carnival and COVID doh mix.”

“Let us not forget that as we miss Carnival, what we don’t want to be a participant in is a Carnival of coffins okay? The Government’s position is that we are going to have to miss Carnival in 2021 and I hope that we are planning for 2022 because hopefully by then things should have changed sufficiently.”

Despite the cancellation of Carnival, many promoters and artistes have adapted, throwing virtual shows and concerts. The Prime Minister said he takes no issue with this new trend.

During the peak of the country’s second phase of COVID-19 infections in September, the Prime Minister announced that Carnival 2021 would be cancelled due to the outbreak. It’s the first time since 1972 that the event has been called off.

Meanwhile, the country has recorded an additional COVID-19 related death bringing the toll to 135. According to the Ministry of Health’s daily update, the person was an elderly male with pre-existing medical conditions. The ministry also confirmed eight new infections from samples collected between January 31 and February 2. It brought the total number of people to be infected locally up to 7,586.