Daily Brief - Thursday 29th October, 2020

NEWS

Wear masks at home to protect elderly, say medics

Infection control nurse Keisha Prevatt-Gomez has advised the public to wear masks where social distancing cannot be practised – even while at home. She gave the advice as part of a list of measures that could prevent elderly and more susceptible people at home from contracting the virus. She reminded the public that people who do not exhibit symptoms of covid19 can still spread the virus, and people with pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, are particularly susceptible. Read more here

Girl, 18, is T&T’s youngest COVID fatality— toll now 107

COVID-19 claimed the life of an 18-year-old girl earlier this week. She is now on record as the youngest patient in the Trinidad and Tobago among the 107 victims to have lost their lives to the virus. Confirmation of her death came from the Ministry of Health’s principal medical officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards during yesterday’s virtual press conference but did not go into specific details about the case. However, Guardian Media was reliably informed by a medical source who requested anonymity that the victim was an 18-year-old girl who was warded on life support at the Couva Multi-Training Facility when she died on Monday, becoming T&T 106th COVID-related death. She was also diabetic and reportedly had blood sugar levels around 500 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL). Read more here

 

POLITICS

Tax US tech giants like FB

Independent Senator Charrise Seepersad, in her contribution to the budget debate on Tuesday, urged the Government to tax global tech giants such as Facebook as they undermine local businesses. Her call followed complaints last year by ANSA McAl head A. Norman Sabga who blamed an $11 million loss at CNC3 on advertising because of direct competition from these foreign firms. “The impact of the global digital economy is a serious threat to TT’s economic activity,” Seepersad said. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Time to reopen the economy

There are two things that this country tends to shy away from, the first is implementing plans and the second is embracing business and the private sector. The truth is even before independence the business community was viewed with scepticism. They were seen as an extension of the planter class and later on as former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday infamously referred to them as the parasitic oligarchy. Read more here

Poverty in a time of Covid

“I know of their struggles. No money. No income. I know about the daily crises some people face.” So said Toco/Sangre Grande MP Roger Munro in an interview with Express Business last week on the plight of his constituents during the Covid pandemic. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

More oil!

Recoverable resources at the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana, have moved from eight billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) to nine billion BOE, a positive sign for the fledgling petroleum state, Guyana, which is still realising its full potential in the oil and gas sector. This increase in the estimated “gross discovered” recoverable resources, was announced by Hess, a 30 per cent shareholder in operations at the Stabroek Block. ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block, while CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest. Read more here

Back To School - 17 Institutions To Reopen In Two-Week Pilot November

Nearly 6,000 students from 17 schools in nine parishes are to return to face-to-face learning on a phased basis as more than 50 per cent of the country’s pupils have difficulty accessing online education amid the coronavirus pandemic. The digital divide has wreaked havoc on the educational sector, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressing fear that inequality in accessibility disproportionately marginalised poor children. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Nice attack: Mayor says deadly stabbing points to terrorism

Three people have been killed in a knife attack in the French city of Nice, police say. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said everything pointed to a "terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica". Police said one woman had her throat cut in the attack and Mr Estrosi spoke of "islamofascism". The suspect was detained shortly after the attack.

France's national anti-terror prosecutors opened a murder inquiry. Read more here

Trump bet against science, and voters are casting judgment

The failed bet laid by President Donald Trump to ignore science and prioritize his political goals early in the pandemic, revealed Wednesday in fresh detail by new Jared Kushner tapes, is backfiring in devastating fashion at the critical moment of his reelection bid. Dark warnings by scientists and new data showing a nationwide explosion in a virus Trump says is going away, crashing stock markets and real-time examples of the White House's delusions about its failed response are consuming the President as tens of millions of early voters cast judgment. Read more here

29th October 2020

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