Trinidad and Tobago: Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, with teary eyes, hugged and thanked the medical staff for their ‘outstanding’ contribution during the crucial time of SARS-CoV-2 infection. He was not sorry for breaking the COVID-19 related health precautions at the rededication of the Point Fortin Hospital on Saturday morning.
He was emotional and with no regret called daily-paid checker Kevin Shade to the podium and hugged him in front of the audience of the event,
The health minister asked Shade to join him as he wanted to offer special congratulations. He said audience, “As today is the day of celebration, I am going to break the health protocols.” He added, “Mr Shade had no idea when COVI- 19 started he would be thrust into a position of leadership. But by the grace of God, we have done it.”
Shade, who has been included in the health sector of Trinidad and Tobago for more than 31 years, was astonished by the lauds from his peers and ministers.
The event was attended by MP Kennedy Richards Jr, Mayor Saleema Mc Cree-Thomas, SWRHA CEO Dr Brian Armour, its chairman, board members, and department heads who were entertained by staff.
Furthermore, he invited other ministers and heads of the SWRHA to join him for a photograph with dozens of healthcare workers, including Shades. They all received a token of appreciation, during the event, for their outstanding contribution in the past two years, when the world was dealing with the deadly virus – COVID-19.
Deyalsingh was quoted as, “I will break all the health protocols and would love to invite all the 24 recipients to come up with their token appreciation.” He further asked MP, mayor, CEO as well as deputy chairperson to join him for a “group photograph of excellence and greatness”.
During the event, Deyalsingh cleared his throat, sniffed and asked for more tissues and stated, “I am overcome”. He then removed his spectacles and dried his eyes; it was, indeed, an emotional moment for the health minister.
Al the end of the event, he interacted with the media and outlined that he had no regrets.
He added that for just that instance, breaking protocols might be justified. It might be giving mixed messages to the public as they are repeatedly asked to follow social distancing, and here we were engaged in physical interaction – hugging.