Trinidad and Tobago continues to be under a state of emergency, as the House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion to extend the SoE for another three months.
The motion was passed shortly after 7 p.m., with 21 Government members voting for, while all 18 Opposition members in the House abstained.
It is the second extension of the SoE, which was first declared on May 15 as a measure to combat the spread of Covid-19. It was initially set to run until May 30.
Parliament met on May 24 to extend the SoE for another three months. This would have expired on August 29.
The latest extension means T&T could remain under the SoE until late November.
Any further extensions, according to Section 10 (2) of the Constitution, will require the support of a three-fifths majority of the House and also of the Senate.
Contributing to the debate in the House of Representatives yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said Trinidad and Tobago would have been in a much worse position had the SoE not been implemented when it was.
He said a further extension was needed to prevent people from socialising and congregating at night. “The only reason why we are asking for this state of emergency to be extended… is to discourage the population from socialising at night between 9 o’clock and 5 o’clock in the morning.”
Rowley said when the SoE was first implemented, there had been a significant reduction in the daily Covid-19 infection rate.
Rowley slammed the Opposition, which he said had been misrepresenting the purpose of the SoE.
“I said the main justification is to prevent people from socialising and congregating, so I was amazed when my colleague from Siparia said what is the state of emergency going to do and how many persons is it going to allow you to vaccinate. No argument was made by me about a state of emergency to vaccinate anybody…,” Rowley said.
Persad-Bissessar, during her contribution, had made reference to Guyana, which she said has a curfew in place without an SoE.
However, the Prime Minister said Persad-Bissessar, as a senior counsel, should know a curfew could not be implemented in T&T without an SoE in place.
He criticised the Opposition, which he said set the tone for vaccine hesitancy in this country.