Opposition wants migrant status of Venezuelan who brought in Brazilian variant of COVID

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Opposition wants migrant status of Venezuelan who brought in Brazilian variant of COVID

The Opposition United National Congress (UNC) said it is absolutely unacceptable that Minister Terrence Deyalsingh refused to answer the media’s questions at Wednesday’s Health Briefing on whether the Venezuelan migrant who first brought the more virulent Brazilian strain of Covid here entered Trinidad illegally.

According to the party, the Government owes an answer to the citizens.

In a release, the UNC said that “given the cramped living quarters of illegal migrants, the lack of detection by authorities, and their free spread throughout the local population, this issue deserves special attention.
“Yet it took weeks for Minister Deyalsingh to admit in the Senate that a Venezuelan migrant was the first case of the Brazilian variant, after spending previous weeks deflecting and shifting blame to Trinidadians.”

The UNC said “Deyalsingh, however, still won’t tell the country the legal status of the migrant. In the meanwhile, the virus has been spreading for weeks before it was picked up.

They said the sampling that the Ministry conducted was random and the cases picked up were isolated, i.e. NOT CONNECTED. This means that the Brazilian strain has been here for at least one or two cycles and has likely reached the point of community spread. Yet, Minister Deyalsingh is still avoiding questions.

The part said this dereliction of duty may be deadly, as 223 new cases were reported on Wednesday. This, they said, is very concerning.

The UNC said “This wave appears that it is going to be worse than our last big one in September 2020 with over 2,600 cases. Yet the Ministry of Health is not seeking to forewarn and prepare the population, but rather seeking to downplay the dangers and to avoid answering questions.”

They said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has turned our border into a free for all, putting all of our lives at risk. “This is not only with regard to new more deadly covid strains, but also with increased drugs, arms and ammunition smuggling.”

“It is no wonder that the US Department of Homeland Security has identified Trinidad and Tobago as a major trans-shipment point and is now reported to be possibly setting up an office here.”