Daily Brief - Monday 26th October, 2020

NEWS

Restaurant owners fear closure

Owner of Trotters Restaurant Group Peter George said the damage being done to the local economy during the partial lockdown of restaurants and bars will have long-lasting effects, and affect businesses for years to come. George told Newsday in a telephone interview on Sunday that while public-sector workers have been paid in full during the past eight months, private-sector workers continue to suffer. “The damage being done to this country may well be irreversible. This is no longer just a medical crisis.” Read more here

Beach lovers, vendors plead: Be responsible, adhere to rules

Beach lovers and stakeholders are pleading with citizens to be responsible as restrictions on the popular recreation activity are lifted today. The announcement came on Saturday by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who also warned that if there are large gatherings and cases spike it, use of this country’s beaches would be restricted once again. The beaches have been one of the most missed activity by many during the course of both closures- once in phase one and recently during the second phase. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Duke: PM cannot make public servants go to work

Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke has questioned the Prime Minister's reasoning and motives for ordering a full turnout to work of public-service staff – a reversal of his previous rostering of employees on shifts of 50 per cent capacity. This was done to improve physical distancing to curb the spread of covid19. On Saturday, Dr Rowley called for a full turnout and also lifted the ban on recreation at beaches, cinemas, casinos and gyms as of Monday, but not for dining in restaurants or drinking inside bars. Read more here

Businessman: Rowley lacks courage

While beaches are open today, indoor dining at restaurants and fast food outlets remain unavailable and some business owners are voicing their displeasure.   Businessman Peter George has described the Prime Minister’s decision to leave restrictions in place for bars and restaurants as a ‘travesty.’ George, who is the chief executive officer of the Trent Restaurant Group which includes restaurants like Trotters, Buzo, Amara and Blue Star Diner said on Saturday he will now be forced to close more of his restaurants and send workers home. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

IMF: COVID-19 hit to Caribbean similar to ‘cardiac arrest’

The impact of COVID-19 on the countries of the region has been likened by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to a heart attack. In an article written by IMF economists Samuel Pienknagura, Jorge Roldós, and Alejandro Werner titled ‘Pandemic Persistence Clouds Latin America and Caribbean Recovery’ the authors contended: “Despite being relatively successful at containing the virus spread, the sudden stop in tourist arrivals and local lockdowns was equivalent to a cardiac arrest to their economies.” Read more here

Vulnerable external accounts

Trinidad and Tobago’s economy remains highly dependent on the energy sector and, being a price-taker on the international market, we have no influence over price movements, despite the fact that most of our domestic output, Government revenue and export earnings are derived from this source. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

GuySuCo is here to stay

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, has assured private cane farmers at Skeldon that GuySuCo is here to stay and the operations at the factory would be more reliable than before, during a meeting with them at the Skeldon Training Centre, East Berbice, Corentyne, on Saturday. On the recommendation of the European Union, one third of the cane at the Skeldon factory is expected to be supplied by private farmers from the Upper Corentyne, and the meeting between the farmers and the minister sought to address any issues or concerns ahead of the re-opening of the factory. Read more here

As Rains Unleash Fury, Family In Danger After Backyard Plunges Over Precipice

Close to 60 members of one family, including more than 20 children, in Lindo’s Gap in St Andrew East Rural are battling fears that further torrential rains and swirling winds triggered by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Zeta could sweep their homes over a precipice. Much of the family’s backyard, a haven for frolicsome children and which had ample space to park vehicles three days ago, had plunged into oblivion on Sunday as storm rains scoured Jamaica, flooding homes, toppling trees and utility poles, and leaving multiple motorists marooned. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

White House admission on pandemic overshadows Trump's last push for reelection

A stunning White House claim that the US cannot control the fast-worsening pandemic is overshadowing President Donald Trump's frantic last-ditch bid to turn around his reelection race with Democrat Joe Biden with eight days to go. The comments by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on CNN on Sunday alarmed medical experts who argue that letting the coronavirus rage unchecked is akin to a policy of herd immunity that will cost many thousands of lives. But with daily new infections hitting record levels, Trump spent the weekend in a campaign blitz in which he openly flouted steps like masking and social distancing that could slow the spread of the disease and moaned that all the media talks about is "Covid, Covid, Covid." Read more here

Covid-19: China tests entire city of Kashgar in Xinjiang

China is once again mass testing an entire city for the coronavirus amid a regional outbreak in Xinjiang province. Around 4.7m people in Kashgar are being tested, with 138 asymptomatic cases found so far. China has been largely successful in bringing infection rates down, but there continue to be small outbreaks. Xinjiang is home to China's mostly-Muslim Uighur minority which rights groups say is being persecuted by the government in Beijing. Schools in Kashgar have been closed and residents are not allowed to leave the city unless they have a negative test report. Read more here

26th October 2020

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