Daily Brief - Friday 24th July, 2020


Parasram laments decrease in mask-wearing

Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram has lamented the marked decrease in mask-wearing in public especially in light of two new covid19 cases in which public health officials do not yet know how the persons became infected. At the Ministry of Health’s press briefing on Thursday, Parasram noted there has been a decrease in the use of facemasks and strongly urged people to comply with the rule and wear masks once out in public. “Even in my workplace, you would find that over the last few months people were not wearing masks as they would have been during the height of the pandemic,” Parasram said. Read more here

Daughter of RBL worker is COVID case 141

The clock is ticking for the Ministry of Health after fears over the local transmission of COVID-19 continued to grow yesterday, following the announcement that Republic Bank’s West Mall branch was forced to close because the daughter of an employee was the latest person to contract the virus in T&T. The child was patient 141 and is feared to have contracted it locally, just as was the case with patient 139. The ministry is now doing contact tracing on the two female patients so that they can test the persons they may have come into contact with before learning they had the virus. Speaking during the ministry’s virtual press conference yesterday, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh described the situation as “concerning” but assured it was not “cause for panic”. Read more here



Kamla: UNC corporations on high alert for flooding

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar vowed to assist those in need if heavy rainfall leads to flooding. Speaking at the UNC's virtual campaign meeting on Thursday night, Persad-Bissessar said her party has always taken a proactive role in times of disaster and vowed to assist those in need, citing the approach of Tropical Storm Gonzalo to TT. "I know we are in the rainy season, this tropical storm is on the way and we don't know if it will develop into a hurricane as yet. Read more here

Shamfa tells supporters focus on undecided voters

People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate for Tobago West Shamfa Cudjoe is calling on the party’s supporters to pay attention to people who have not made up their minds on which party to vote for come August 10. Speaking at the party’s campaign meeting at Mason Hall on Wednesday night, Cudjoe said the party’s supporters should stop “preaching to the choir”. “We move from village to village every day, sometimes we’re preaching to the choir but I am saying there is a group of people...that need some more massaging, so we do have some work to do,” she said to loud applause from the crowd. She said one view of undecided voters is that all political parties are the same. Read more here



CtrlAltFix Tech: fixing the website woes of businesses

With the new normal settling into the countries, e-commerce is more important than ever before for businesses. E-commerce is the ability to sell goods and services online. With fewer people outside, brick and mortar stores have less foot traffic for their business. Businesses who have not set up an e-commerce website now need to create a system to do so. Even if e-commerce is not feasible for the business, a website is a great way to raise awareness and market the business as more people turn to Google to find businesses. Read more here

OWTU optimistic over refinery sale

Oilfields’ Workers Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget said they remain optimistic that negotiations for the sale of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery to Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd, a company owned by the OWTU, will be completed before the August 10 general election. Read more here



Oil $$$ safe in US Bank

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan has assured the nation that there is no need to be fearful about the country’s oil revenue, in the form of the Natural Resource Fund (NRF), being placed in the United States Federal Reserve Bank. The Finance Minister made this clear on Thursday during an interview with the National Communication Network (NCN). His response on the matter comes as some Guyanese have begun to question the reason behind Guyana’s NRF being lodged in a foreign bank, given the recent threat of sanctions as a result of the country’s electoral situation. Read more here

Reveal Positive Students To Schools, Says JTA Boss

Health and education ministry officials have been urged to disclose to administrators the names of students who test positive for COVID-19 close to the resumption of the new academic year so that schools can make preparations to limit the chance of new infections. The call by Owen Speid, president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, comes against the background that only four people are in state quarantine facilities while almost 18,000 are self-monitored at home. Sixty-four of Jamaica’s 821 cases are active. Students are scheduled to return to classes on September 7 after schools were ordered closed days after the first case of the new coronavirus was recorded here in March. Read more here



As US and China force consulates to close, the risk of missteps and spiraling tensions rises

For almost two decades after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the only formal contact between Washington and Beijing was through occasional meetings in Geneva and Warsaw. "We treated each other as adversaries," former United States diplomat Henry Kissinger said last year, on the fortieth anniversary of the normalization of relations with China. "We had no normal way of contacting the Chinese government at all except there was an embassy in Warsaw in which both sides could communicate messages to each other and in which the ambassadors met occasionally. There were 152 meetings of the Warsaw Ambassadors who never reached an agreement on anything." Read more here

Tokyo Olympics: Coronavirus risk raises questions over 2021 Games

For some athletes, today was the last chance to take part in the Tokyo Olympics. They are too old, too exhausted or too financially stretched to wait for another year, after the pandemic forced its postponement. One of them is 35-year-old Tetsuya Sotomura. When I met him on a sweltering afternoon earlier this week he was still hard at it in a converted factory building in a north Tokyo suburb, flying high into the air, spinning and tumbling on a massive trampoline. Read more here

24th July 2020


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