Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s quarantine period ended yesterday – and he’s among guests who have been invited to today’s swearing-in function of new Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne.
Rowley has been working from home following his announcement last Friday that it had come to his attention that on August 10th, he’d been exposed to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.
The Prime Minister said he had been tested and the results were negative. Out of caution, he added he’d been advised to remain in self-quarantine at home until yesterday (Monday) when the full 14-day period would have expired.
Rowley confirmed he will be back out to work in a post on the Office of the Prime Minister’s Facebook page last night. However, it was a post to rubbish an earlier post making the rounds yesterday which claimed Rowley had left T&T for the US.
“This piece of public mischief originated from the same source of political misconduct which dogged the country for the last five years. It is to be disregarded and dismissed for what it is, misinformation aimed at disrupting the peace, quiet and good order in our country,” Rowley wrote.
“It is clear that some people just will not give up in their attempt to create stresses for the national population. The fact is that the Prime Minister, having tested negative last Friday, remained in home isolation until today and expects to be out early tomorrow morning (today).
“During this period the Prime Minister remained engaged night and day as he worked from his home office.
All members of the Prime Minister’s household are safe and well and none have travelled out of Trinidad recently.”
He also thanked the many well-wishers and citizens who sent kind words and prayers for the safety and well-being of the Rowley family.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed that as per protocol, Rowley, as Prime Minister, has been invited to Browne’s swearing-in this afternoon at President’s House. But there was no official confirmation from Government yesterday that he would attend the 1.30 pm function.
Apart from the Prime Minister, guests invited to the function include the Chief Justice and his wife, Senate President, head of the diplomatic corps and other ministers.
Browne, 47, who was T&T’s ambassador to Brazil, returned with his family recently and had been in quarantine. That ended last Sunday.
Browne, a medical doctor, was Diego Martin Central MP under the Patrick Manning People’s National Movement administration, where he was Social Development Minister. He also served as MP from May 2010 onwards. He was appointed T&T’s ambassador to Brazil under the first Rowley PNM administration.
Browne’s appointment is the last to complete the 22-member Cabinet. In addition to the ministers who hold full cabinet rank, there are also eight other supporting ministers of state in different ministries.
The swearing-in ceremony for Browne will be followed at 4 pm by the appointment of United National Congress leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar as Opposition Leader.
As was done for last week’s swearing-in of Cabinet ministers, strict COVID-19 protocols – sanitising, social distancing et cetera – will be in place at President’s House, St Ann’s, for today’s functions.