Government must start testing Venezuelan migrants: Kamla Persad

Government must start testing Venezuelan migrants: Kamla Persad
Government must start testing Venezuelan migrants: Kamla Persad

Trinidad: The leader of the opposition party Kamla Persad Bissessar lashed at the ruling government of Trinidad and Tobago for the handling of COVID-19 in the country.

The opposition leader Kamla Persad said that the state of emergency would have little or no effect if the “porous” borders are open that cannot stop the free flow of illegal immigrants, especially those fleeing turbulent Venezuela.

She stated that immigrants are entering the porous border of Trinidad and Tobago illegally, and if they entered through the ports or the airports, authorities could conduct coronavirus testing.

In past days the government confirmed the first reported case of the Brazilian variant; since then, over 40 more cases have been recorded of the same variant, which first was found in a Venezuelan immigrant.

Kamla stated, “The state of emergency, the lockdown, the curfew will have little, or maybe no effect unless you deal with the porous borders.”

Speaking during the UNC’s Virtual Report on Monday night, Kamla Persad-Bissessar also expressed grave concern over the SoE regulations and sought clarification, especially regarding the grant of exemption for running political offices, such as those of MPs councillors and the Opposition Leader.

She said that under Regulation 10 (c), while the sittings of the Parliament and the committees of the Parliament, whilst those services are allowed to be carried on, the work that the MPs do in their constituencies will not fall under (it). And if they do, again, clarify. It is uncertain. Trinidad and Tobago are vague, and it is ambiguous.

Kamla mentioned, “As elected MPs and councillors, we have an important role to play in a representative democracy…If these regulations do not expressly provide for the functions we carry out outside of the sittings of the Parliament, then we are in a bad place indeed. Democracy demands that these offices be allowed to operate and be given an express provision as being allowed.”