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Abdool-Richards repeats warning

“Our econ­o­my as it is can­not han­dle an­oth­er lock­down. We know that the num­bers are go­ing up (re­fer­ring to Covid-19 cas­es). We are ad­vis­ing every­one to still be cau­tious, fol­low the pro­to­cols set by the Min­istry of Health,” he said

With the num­ber of peo­ple in hos­pi­tal with COVID-19 con­tin­u­ing to in­crease, Prin­ci­pal Med­ical Of­fi­cer in the Min­istry of Health Dr Maryam Ab­dool-Richards yes­ter­day re­newed her ap­peal to cit­i­zens to ex­er­cise per­son­al, so­cial and civic re­spon­si­bil­i­ty.

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She made the call at the open­ing of a health fair host­ed by the Ch­agua­nas Cham­ber of In­dus­try and Com­merce (CCIC) at Xtra Plaza, Ch­agua­nas.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

“I would have in­di­cat­ed one week ear­li­er that this in­crease start­ed from Ju­ly 29 and its con­sis­tent, with this morn­ing with us hav­ing 198 pa­tients at step-down fa­cil­i­ties and hos­pi­tals and a rolling av­er­age of just un­der 200. Now we have reached the phase where the gov­ern­ment has re­opened the econ­o­my and re­stric­tions have been lift­ed,” she said

Un­der­scor­ing the need for cit­i­zens to do their part in COVID-19 pre­ven­tion, Dr Ab­dool-Richards said: “How do we do this? We do this by con­tin­u­ing to prac­tice healthy be­hav­iours, in­clud­ing seek­ing med­ical at­ten­tion if you be­lieve you have symp­toms of COVID-19 and stay­ing at home un­til proven.”

She said glob­al­ly non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases had in­creased dur­ing the pan­dem­ic along with a shad­ow pan­dem­ic of men­tal ill­ness cou­pled with a glob­al back­log of treat­ment

Echo­ing Dr Ab­dool-Richards’ con­cern, Richie Sookhai, the pres­i­dent of the CCIC warned that T&T could deal with an­oth­er lock­down if COVID-19 cas­es con­tin­ue to rise.

“Our econ­o­my as it is can­not han­dle an­oth­er lock­down. We know that the num­bers are go­ing up (re­fer­ring to Covid-19 cas­es). We are ad­vis­ing every­one to still be cau­tious, fol­low the pro­to­cols set by the Min­istry of Health,” he said.

Sookhai ad­vised cit­i­zens to start tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for their health and ob­serve the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions be­fore at­tend­ing events that could bring them in close prox­im­i­ty to car­ri­ers. He said the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try in par­tic­u­lar had suf­fered a tremen­dous blow and might not sur­vive an­oth­er lock­down.

“If we go back to that stage, I don’t think these in­dus­tries can han­dle that,” he said

The CCIC pres­i­dent added that with food and med­i­cine prices in­creas­ing, it is time that na­tion­als look at lo­cal­ly pro­duced foods as healthy op­tions over im­port­ed pro­duce