Daily Brief - Monday 24th August, 2020


11-year-old mask-maker gets membership in TTMA

Eleven year old K’den Saunders who was featured by Newsday Kids two weeks ago, has been offered free membership to the TT Manufacturers Association (TTMA) for one year. Following the August 9 article, the TTMA reached out to K'den and his family who, they said, exhibited “entrepreneur spirit and talent” that inspired them. The TTMA said the aspiring pilot “has a spark that we want to support.” “The TTMA will offer him one year free membership. He will be grouped into our entrepreneur category as an ordinary (manufacturing) member. He will be afforded the opportunity to be a part of an internship program, webinars, seminars, trade shows, business after hours, meet and greet, export trade missions and much more.” Read more here



PAHO: Increased danger for pregnant covid19 patients

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is asking countries in the Americas to step up efforts to ensure access to prenatal care services for pregnant women during the covid19 pandemic. Recently published results and studies based on covid19 surveillance data have indicated an increased risk among pregnant women of presenting with severe forms of covid19 and subsequently becoming hospitalised and admitted to intensive care units. Data compiled by PAHO showed that 28,387 cases of covid19 in pregnant women have been reported by ten countries, with 356 deaths reported from January to August 11. Read more here

Police hold 8:Chinese national killed in grocery robbery

This weekend turned into a bloody one as police recorded  five deaths, five of which were murders, one involved death allegedly by police officers and several others shot and wounded in separate incidents throughout T&T. Yesterday around 4 am, in Barataria with the quick response by officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force, six Trinidadians, among them two women and two Venezuelans were caught red-handed by police attempting to rob the owner and occupants of the Happiness Supermarket at the corner of the Eastern Main Road, and Sixth Avenue. Read more here



New Public Utilities Minister: WASA on my mind

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales on Saturday said the performance of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) will be one of his main priorities during his tenure. Speaking to Newsday by phone, Gonzales said, "At the end of the day, when people have water in their taps, I will be able to sleep comfortably." Gonzales is also the Lopinot/BonAir West MP elect. Recalling that the problems affecting WASA go back almost 20 years, Gonzales said his mind had been on the troubled institution since his swearing in last Wednesday. Read more here

UWI COVID Task Force chairman: Identify most vulnerable community, ramp up testing

Professor Clive Landis, chairman of the University of the West Indies (UWI) COVID-19 Task Force is advising T&T on its escalating COVID-19 cases to “identify your most vulnerable communities.” Landis, one of the panelists in yesterday’s virtual discussion titled Ethical Issues in the Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Caribbean, hosted jointly by the UWI COVID-19 Task Force and the National Bioethics Committee of Jamaica, commented while responding to a question on how T&T could navigate this period of a sudden spike in cases. Read more here



Trinidad and Tobago economic update

More than halfway through 2020, the economy of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) continues to face unprecedented challenges stemming from the closure of its borders and a suppressed business environment due to the global outbreak of Covid-19. Read more here


$600M approved for GuySuCo

Guyana’s sugar industry has been ‘drowning’ in debt for years, but the new government, in an effort to keep the industry afloat, has agreed to inject $600 million into the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). The new People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) government, upon being elected to office early this month, was met with a plea for help from GuySuCo, which, at the time, had requested $1.6 billion to offset expenses and practically survive for the rest of the year. Government, in response to this plea, has agreed to grant the bailout, which will go towards wages and salaries for employees. Read more here

Suspends road tour as COVID-19 numbers hit new one-day record

With Jamaica’s COVID-19 cases hitting another one-day record on Sunday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has decided to suspend his political road tour a week and a half before election day, September 3. The confirmation of that decision came from Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton late Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after the country’s police chief, Antony Anderson, revealed he tested positive for the coronavirus. “As of today, he is suspending his own campaign activities, meaning the traditional approach to campaigning and he certainly is going to be asking the country and his political organisation to abide by that approach. Read more here



Boris Johnson attempts to grip UK schools crisis as political disaster looms

Even by the standards of a world leader navigating a pandemic, Boris Johnson has had a tumultuous 2020. The UK's Prime Minister returns to work on Monday, having spent a week on vacation with his fiancée and baby in Scotland. In that time he'll have had the chance to reflect on his extraordinary year to date, in which he took his country out of the European Union, got divorced, got engaged, got Covid-19 so badly he was taken to intensive care, had a baby and endured months of criticism over his handling of coronavirus. Read more here

US allows emergency use of blood plasma treatment for coronavirus patients

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency authorisation to use plasma to treat Covid patients. The technique uses antibody-rich blood plasma from people who've recovered from the disease and has already been applied to 70,000 people in the US - in trials or for the gravely ill. The FDA says initial trials indicate it is safe, although more are needed to prove effectiveness. Several experts have questioned the robustness of studies into its use. The announcement came a day after President Donald Trump accused the FDA of impeding the rollout of vaccines and therapeutics for political reasons, and on the eve of the Republican National Convention, where he will launch his campaign to win a second term in the White House. Read more here


24th August 2020


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