There are 128 members of the T&T Police Service – including officers and other employees – under quarantine for COVID-19.
National Security Minister Stuart Young indicated this in Parliament yesterday. He was replying to a question from UNC MP Rudy Indarsingh on the fact that a number of police officers in Central Trinidad were currently under quarantine for the virus.
Young said the figure for those in the Central Trinidad location Indarsingh referred to was 87 not 92, as Indarsingh said.
Three of the number tested positive, two were primary contacts and 82 were secondary contacts.
Young said the total 128 number of officers and other TTPS employees quarantined included the 87.
On body cameras for police, Young said as at March 15, some 140 body cameras would have been distributed to several TTPS units and divisions. The TTPS has been granted approval to buy 500 more. He said Government policy is for as many officers as possible to have body cams. The Commissioner of Police determines which areas have these, he said.
Young was also asked by UNC’s Rodney Charles about the repatriation of 24 women and 70 children said to be T&T nationals and who are in Syrian detention camps. These have been reported to be relatives of T&T people who went to Middle East war zones to fight with the ISIS terrorist group.
Charles claimed they were “stranded” people. Young said there are people claiming to be T&T citizens but said he couldn’t comment more since a matter is before the court on this.
He said Government has attempted to verify the nationality of the people but said T&T didn’t have representatives in the refugee camps and prisoner camps where they are located. In those circumstances, Government depends on other agencies to provide verification and that exercise is continuing.
On steps to determine the accurate number of Venezuelans in T&T, Young noted the 2019 registration for such persons, adding that a re-registration exercise is on until March 26. The objective is to now update the information on Venezuelans who participated in the original 2019 framework, he said. The 2019 exercise, Young said, was open to Venezuelans who were in T&T legally and illegally and 16, 500 registered then, showing as very unlikely the anecdotal claim that there are more than 40,000 Venezuelans in T&T.
On another query on the privatisation of the Port Authority operations, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan said a final report on the issue was done by the Public Administration Ministry and was sent to Cabinet. A decision on the way forward is pending, he said.