With Covid cases surging in China and the US, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is calling on citizens to get vaccinated or boosted before Carnival.
Deyalsingh issued the plea while delivering gifts to new mothers at the San Fernando General Hospital.
He said: “I want to make a direct appeal to masqueraders, get vaccinated. Even if you feel you are young and invincible, get vaccinated to protect your elderly parents or grandparents. You could be asymptomatic and they are the ones going to be negatively impacted.”
Deyalsingh said over the next few weeks, representatives from the various RHA’s would be going to malls and other populated places to offer vaccines and boosters.
He said: “The elderly are carrying the brunt of COVID. Doctors can tell you that if your immune system is depressed, you are aged, overweight or have diabetes or kidney disease, you will need hospitalisation for COVID, ICU and the outcome could be bad.”
Deyalsingh appealed to the elderly to get vaccinated, or boosted.
He said there were enough vaccines to supply the nation and the expiry date for the vaccines was June this year.
Deyalsingh also stated: “In the new year, we will be launching a series of activities to bring down the burden of NCDs. We want the population to buy in. All you have to do is get active and have a moderate diet,” he added.
“I am not asking people to stop eating fast foods or stop eating bread or roti. But I am asking you to eat this in moderation. Substitute water for soft drinks and get active. If we could do those simple things, people will live longer lives,” he added.
The minister noted that T&T was in a good position as it related to supplies of drugs and medications.
“You have to understand we don’t manufacture drugs in the region. There are global shortages of drugs. In North America, there is no paracetamol and Ibuprofen. Families from here are taking it to America,” he revealed.
He added: “In another first-world country there is no penicillin. Doctors in the UK are asking their local counterparts for penicillin.”
“We had no serious chronic shortage of any medicine. Some medicines were out for short spaces of time because of global supply chain issues. And there is one person I want to thank for that. That person is our acting principal pharmacist Anesa Siboo who works with me tirelessly to keep this country’s drug supply in the good state that it is,” Deyalsingh said.