Daily Brief - Monday 5th October, 2020

NEWS

Deyalsingh: Health Ministry trying to avoid 'twindemic'

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the ministry was trying to avoid a “twindemic” of covid19 and the influenza during the country’s flu season from October to May. He said so far 22,000 doses of flu shots were distributed into the public health system for the annual flu shot drive, but only 3,934 people have taken advantage of the free vaccine. TT was behind on the ministry’s target of 10,000 per week for the first six weeks, so he urged health care workers, pregnant women, and the elderly, especially those with non-communicable diseases and who are sedentary, to get their flu shots. Read more here

Two more die from COVID-19, total up to 81

The overall number of deaths due to COVID-19 rose by two yesterday to 81, the Ministry of Education confirmed in its releases updating the country on the status of the virus’ treatment locally. In its first update yesterday morning, the ministry said two latest two victims were elderly men, one with no pre-existing conditions and the other with pre-existing medical conditions. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Budget Jitters

AS Finance Minister Colm Imbert gives his 2020/2021 budget presentation this afternoon, economist Dr Vaalmikki Arjoon has expressed hope the policies announced do not result in job losses. He told Newsday in a telephone interview poverty and inequality are growing in TT. He cited a recent Inter-American Development Bank study (released in July) which showed 67 per cent of low-income households in TT were affected by job losses. Read more here

Govt urged to put $ in poor’s hands, hold on property tax

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Vasant Bharath have warned Government against implementing the property tax in today’s 20201 Budget presentation. And former PNM Public Utilities minister Robert Le Hunte is also looking at what PNM colleaguue Colm Imbert will present in the Budget today to put more money into the hands of working people. Finance Minister Imbert recently said the property tax won’t be postponed. Persad-Bissessar, in a social media post last Friday, recalled that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, in 20o9 while in Opposition, had argued vehemently that people were not in a position to afford the property tax. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Review of equity markets over 3rd quarter of 2020

Coming off one of the best quarters since 1998, as US stocks were lifted by the pick-up in economic activity following the rollback of lockdown measures and bolstered by sizeable fiscal and monetary stimulus, the S&P 500 Index’s momentum slowed in the third quarter of 2020. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Jordan rejected allowances for health workers on June 3– Min. Parag points out

PUBLIC Service Minister Sonia Parag has maintained that former Finance Minister Winston Jordan has rejected allowances for health workers. Parag’s assertion was a rebuttal to former Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, who, in a letter, said: “The payment of a COVID Risk Allowance (CRA) was my idea. Yes, you heard correctly; it was my idea.” Minister Parag had argued that it was Jordan who “flatly, refused and rejected” requests by the then Department of Public Service for increased allowances for healthcare workers, when the Ministry of Finance was sent proposals prior to the change of Government in August. Read more here

Mali Releases 180 Jihadists In Likely Prisoner Exchange

Malian authorities have released 180 Islamic extremists from a prison in the capital and flown them to the country’s north, an official confirmed late Sunday, fuelling speculation that a prominent opposition politician held by jihadists could soon be freed after more than six months in captivity.The militants who abducted Soumaila Cisse back in late March were believed to be seeking a prisoner exchange with the Malian government. Read more here

 

 

INTERNATIONAL

'That should never have happened': Inside Trump's Walter Reed parade

Pacing the well-appointed presidential suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center between intravenous doses of remdesivir and near-hourly checks of his vitals, President Donald Trump has told more than one well-wisher he's desperate to fly the coop. So on Sunday he did. Just past 5 p.m. ET, a combination of boredom, agitation and yearning for adulation while convalescing from coronavirus brought the President to the rear seat of a black Chevy Suburban, waving frantically as he rode at a crawl down Rockville Pike while two US Secret Service agents, dressed in medical gowns, respirator masks and eye protection, stared stoically ahead. Read more here

Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to Hepatitis C discovery

Three scientists who discovered the virus Hepatitis C have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. The winners are British scientist Michael Houghton and US researchers Harvey Alter and Charles Rice. The Nobel Prize committee said their discoveries ultimately "saved millions of lives". The virus is a common cause of liver cancer and a major reason why people need a liver transplant. In the 1960s, there was huge concern that people receiving donated blood were getting chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation) from an unknown, mysterious disease. The Nobel Prize committee said a blood transfusion at the time was like "Russian roulette". Read more here

5th October 2020

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