Some of the people who were arrested during a raid on a COVID party at Alicia’s Guest House in St Ann’s last Friday.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is hoping the police have a “Party Meter” to find COVID-19 lockdown offenders who have parties.

“I hope every party ends up with full Black Marias (police vans) going off to jail … they’re being hardened, destructive and uncooperative. Parties are where people can get infected—then they’ll turn to the state for healthcare and accommodation,” he said during yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

The T&T Police Service busted two COVID parties last weekend, one in St Ann’s and one in Wallerfield.

Rowley added that the fight was at the individual level and everyone was a “soldier in this fight where you stand, sit, walk …”

He also questioned what a state of emergency would do for patients since that brought more powers for police and restriction of citizens’ rights.

“What you’ll have to do to respond to the virus won’t change, so we might as well get on with it whether SoE or not—spatial distancing, personal hygiene and most importantly being your brother’s keeper,” the Prime Minister said.

On the issue of the restart of the school term, Rowley said while there hadn’t been discussion on private schools, Cabinet yesterday got an update from the Education Ministry on possible “windows” for adjusting the term. One is May-June and that would be based on good outcomes with the virus. If things aren’t so good, the other option is September. (See page 8)

Rowley said the 2021 term could be the casualty of what’s happening in 2020. He said he understood anxiety and tension among children on the SEA exam, but he said T&T is now in a once-in-a-lifetime situation where “we’re trying to survive”.

With restrictions in place until April 30, he said Government’s scanning the horizon to see when schools could reopen.

“This is where we have to let anxiety be tempered by the science and let decisions be made by the science and public health experts,” he said, noting in the anxiety to end the current situation, one has to be careful not to do anything to allow the virus to re-emerge.