PM Rowley says Trinidad not following Caribbean countries and declaring state of emergency

April 01, 2020
Trinidad's Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Apr 1,  – Trinidad and Tobago recorded its fifth death, the second within a 24 hour period, from the coronavirus (COVID-19) but stopped short of announcing plans for a state of emergency (SOE) or a curfew to help curb the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, speaking at the daily news conference put on by the Ministry of Health, said Trinidad and Tobago is also considering releasing prisoners in a bid to curb the spread of the virus but had no intention of following the methods being adopted by some Caribbean islands to implement the curfew and the SOE.

“It is one of the tools available to the government if the circumstances warrant it and if the outcome if an improvement of the circumstances of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We are not dealing with fashion and anxiety,” Rowley told reporters.

“We have been taking steps. Our intention steps of exaltation based on what advice we got, the nature of the problem and based on the advice we determine what is the most appropriate state response.”

He told reporters that if the situation “is deemed to be that we need to be more interventionist and that intervention will put us in a better situation then the government has no difficulty in doing it.”

Rowley said he has spoken on numerous occasions about the demand for a “lockdown” to deal with the situation, noting “in our neighbouring territory of Grenada, there is a 24 hour seven day curfew. Any government could do that, but it might suit that situation, question is, is that what is best for us under our circumstances. When we get to that bridge you will be the first to know,” he added.

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