TRINIDAD Goes Into Lockdown On Sunday Night

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – As of midnight Sunday, the country will enter a new level of lock down.

The announcement was made this afternoon by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during a post Cabinet press conference in Port of Spain.

“From Sunday night, stay home” Rowley said, a day after the country recorded its first COVID-19 death.

A total of 61 people have also tested positive for the virus. And if you don’t, he said, both police officers and soldiers will be enforcing the new plan.

Law enforcement standing by

Rowley said: “The Attorney General and others will tell you which laws are going to be enforced. The Minister of National Security and his security teams, the Commissioner of Police and his men and women are standing by to enforce the quarantine law and all others. We are at the stage now that joke is joke, but this is no joke”.

He said, “Those people in this country who figure this is a joke, this is about life and death, and your foolishness will not be tolerated. Your responsibility is required and will be extracted. “

The country cannot be switched off

He said: “The virus demands that we do more. I am announcing here today that from Sunday night, midnight from Sunday night, we will deepen our separation by having non-essential activities forbidden. Any activity that can be deemed to be non-essential… the Minister of National Security and the Minister of Health by tomorrow will put a list out there for what is deemed to be essential. “

He said “When you say lock down the country, meaning that we should just shut it down, the country is not a light bulb where you just flick a switch and lock it down. Every single person who is engaged in the health sector, not just the ministry of health, the health sector, is required to be on station. So the State workers need to go to work, the private sector workers need to go to work to keep the health sector (running). If you lock down the health centre, well we drop the white flag to the virus. But we are fighting…the white flag stays down. The health has to stay up”.

He said: “We also have taken steps to provide support in the social sector. Our arrangements for various institutions have to stay in place to respond. If we shut down the social sector, who is going to provide the social support? Who is going to run the social support system for those people who are relying on the social support system? You can’t lock that down. You can’t shut that down.”

He said of the social support system ”we have to ramp that up. The Minister of Social Development has just confirmed that her ministry is taking steps to move On-the-Job-Trainees to that ministry to help in the management of what we have taken on, which was not the normal workload of the ministry”.

The Ministry is attempting to provide relief to at least 80,000 people affected as a result of the pandemic.

Public utilities must function

He said “The utilities also have to stay functioning. We need  T&TEC to keep our power on. We need WASA to keep our water on. TSTT to keep our communication on. Three essentials. They have to stay on board…they even have to do extra, because this situation is calling for all of us to walk that extra mile.”

‘The health sector delivery and supply from the private sector, they have to stay. They have to be on board”.

He said that although the borders were closed to incoming passengers, the airport and seaports had to remain open and functioning because “our food has to come in by air and by sea. Cargo has to come in so the Customs and Immigration has to be at work still. There is a huge chunk of the country that still has to function, as a response to the virus”.

Regarding talk of a lock down by the Opposition, Rowley said the term was being use as a “fashion statement for some who want to get into the act. But for the government, we are not dealing with a fashion statement. We are dealing with well thought out, well organised responses, understanding that some people are required to be out and some are required to be in. Those who are required to be out will be deemed to be the essentials. We still have to produce. The private sector is required to produce to feed us. So the food and market sector is required to be out there. We are going to categorise it is such a way that we identify a large block the population that is not essential, and if you are not essential, from Sunday night, stay home.

Rowley said: “

He said “If you are going out, it is part of the essential arrangement. Essential to get food, essential to get medicine. Pharmacies will be open…so it is essential versus non-essential. You see this liming and congregating? The police will enforce the law. You see this lack of common sense or the don’t-give-ah-damn? The police will enforce the law with the full support of the Defence Force. So expect that! We are telling you that today. It comes into force on Sunday night. There is no need to over rush. We know that you will move to make arrangements because you know what is coming. If you have to go out to work to do these things in the essential sector, make the arrangements.”

11 Comments

  1. The article clearly states that Dr Rowley said this is not a state of emergency.
    Yet the author ends the article by stating “He said the government felt it was necessary to declare the SOE”

    Shaking my dam head, is there any pride in ones work? or is it that journalist just don’t care, and any sloppy piece is good enough?
    I guess inciting more panic is the objective here to peddle their poor excuse for an article.

  2. The first paragraph says it is NOT an SOE and the last paragraph says IT IS
    Then it says only non-essential activities are allowed….do you all do any edit check before you release? SMH

  3. It could be non essential or essential it make no dam sense because you out there still.I could understand the T&TEC,Health
    facility and Wasa.But not the rest.It calling for a Total Shut down.Meaning a curfew.

  4. Finally the government has stepped up to curb all the utter nonsense our citizens has been doing..
    How can you look at the world.. The greatest of the nations.. And see the global damage its doing and still feel you have no responsibility to yourself or your country????
    We as a nation have always felt that we are beyond the tragedy that affects others and we will get a “bligh”.
    Wake up people… And grow up… Take responsibility for your actions and please realize this virus is not childs’ play..
    Its should not have come to this if we simply were alot more conscious of our actions and the ripple effect it has..
    But I’m pleased that the government has taken the bull by the horns and is trying to control the situation…
    Get on board people!!!
    All of us need to do our part.

    • I totally agree. This is a serious matter. We have to take aggressive actions to try and curb the spread and if the people are endangering others with their callousness;The government has to act

  5. I was born in Trinidad port-of-spain now residing in the United States for the last 50 years. Some of you idiots who are opposed to the curfew just keep an eye out on Wuhan China, New York and Louisiana. Anyone that thinks total lockdown is not necessary for the well-being of such a small island has got a hole in his or her head.

    • The world leader waited to lo g to act.They were on a wait and see mode.Now they are on a Panic mode.

  6. Samantha I agree with you 💯 this Nonchalant way we have at looking @ things with the mentality that God is a Trini that needs to stop and be serious, thus far I think the Prime Minister is doing an excellent job for there’s a time to laugh and a time to play.

  7. I FEEL VERY SAD FOR OUR UNIVERS, PEOPLE ARE TRAINED TO TURN THEIR BACKS ON JEHOVAH GOD NOT A WITNESS’S BUT THAT’S HIS NAME AMONG MANY MORE. STARTS FROM SCHOOLING OF OUR CHILDREN, IT’S TIME FOR US TO BE CONSCIOUS AND KNOW THERE IS A GOD WHO RULES THIS LAND.HE IS CRYING OUT THROUGH HIS LEADERS.DUE TO YOUR STUBBORNESS U SHALL PERISH.

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