Daily Brief - Tuesday 10th November, 2020


TTMA, supermarkets: We're committed to consumer confidence

The executives of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturer’s Association (TTMA) and the Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) have pledged their commitment to consumer confidence during the covid19 pandemic. The two bodies have met to discuss the supply chain disruption of food supply, consumer demand and the call to support local. Read more here



Tobago Chamber welcomes increased airbridge flights

The Tobago Business Chamber has welcomed the Government’s decision to allow Caribbean Airlines to increase the number of flights between Trinidad and Tobago. The Prime Minister announced the decision last Saturday during a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. In a WhatsApp voice note on Sunday, the chamber’s president Martin George said the organisation’s members were feeling “tremendous appreciation and thankfulness." Read more here

Maximum Security Prison on lockdown after latest virus scare

Some 240 inmates were placed in isolation at the Maximum Security Prison (MSP) in Arouca yesterday, after 18 inmates from a group of 29 who had complained of feeling unwell tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. The confirmation came from Prison Commissioner Dennis Pulchan after an inmate at the facility recorded some of the inmates being transferred yesterday and shared the video on social media. In the video, the inmate claimed the prisoners were being moved to a cordoned-off area of the facility. Read more here



Imbert: Over $50m from Salary Relief Grant unused

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert announced over $131 million has been used to pay over 80,000 applicants for the Salary Relief Grant.He was responding to questions raised by MP for Barataria/ San Juan Saddam Hosein on the payment of the grants in Parliament, on Monday. Imbert said a little over $50 million hasn’t been used from the $186.2 million that was disbursed to the National Insurance Board (NIB) in April.He said, “Up to today, total payments are $135,901,059. The current balance of unused funds from the $186.2 million already disbursed to the NIB is $50,298,940, and those funds will be used to pay persons who qualify for the grant.”He said the money used thus far has covered administrative expenses of $4,165,496, “and payments to a total of 33,970 persons but totalling over 80,000 payments, of $131,735,563” between April and October. He said a total of 69,346 applications had been received and about 12,000 rejected. Read more here

Health Ministry defends alcohol ban in restaurants

The Ministry of Health has defended Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s directive for restaurants to abstain from serving alcoholic beverages although they have been allowed to resume in-house service. Speaking during yesterday’s virtual press conference, Principal Medical Officer Institutions Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said the decision was based on scientific evidence. “The decision for restricting alcohol at restaurants...this is a policy decision that was taken by a group of persons based on the science and evidence on the impact of alcohol,” she said. “We believe that alcohol from a behavioural pattern causes a dis-inhibition (sic) of behaviour and thus results in persons reducing...their anti-COVID measures in terms of face mask-wearing and proximity, thus increasing their risk of COVID-19 transmission.” Read more here



PLIPDECO sees 26 per cent decline in profit

The Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation Ltd (PLIPDECO) has recorded $75.3 million dollar profit after tax for nine months ended September 30, 2020. This represents a 26 per cent decline in profits when compared to the previous period’s $101.4 million. In the company’s financial statements, company Chairman Ian Atherly noted: “As we continue into the new normal brought about by the global pandemic, the Corporation remained committed to contributing to the recovery of T&T by generating positive results.” Read more here

Republic’s profits plunge 43%

New chairman of Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL), Vincent Pereira, yesterday announced that profits attributable to the shareholders of the parent declined by 42.8 per cent for the year ended September 30, 2020. Read more here



High turnout as schools reopen

Many students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 returned to the face-to-face classroom setting on Monday, as the Ministry of Education attempts to prevent further learning loss and losing learners to the labour market. During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, related that, based on information garnered from five of the 10 administrative regions, there was a 60 per cent turnout of students in Grades 10 and 11. Additionally, there was a 100 per cent turnout of teachers, which she said was not surprising, since many of those teachers indicated that online teaching was not conducive for teaching all parts of the curriculum. Read more here

Girl Survives River’s Clutches As Rains Turn Nine Miles Into Disaster Zone

Victoria Johnson, still traumatised by a weekend of wretched weather, was unable to eat the food handed her by a neighbour in Nine Miles, St Andrew, on Monday. The 74-year-old clung to her doorjamb while remembering how the swollen Chalky River, emboldened by storm rains, sent stones and mud thundering through her yard around 11 o’clock Sunday night. Read more here



Coronavirus: Russia resists lockdown and pins hopes on vaccine

The ticket booths at Krylatskoye ice palace are shuttered, but the rink is full: not of speed skaters and hockey players, but rows of coronavirus patients. It's one of five facilities in Moscow transformed into giant temporary hospitals that are now swinging into action as the number of new Covid cases reaches daily record highs. The Kremlin describes the rate of infection as "worrying" - close to 21,000 new cases were announced across Russia on Tuesday - and it admits that healthcare facilities in some regions are "overloaded". Read more here

Trump shows transition will be as turbulent as his presidency

The question is not whether President Donald Trump is leaving. It's how much destruction, revenge and chaos he will wreak on the way out the door. Trump's refusal to concede the election, delusional tweets about states tipping his way and failure to so far grant President-elect Joe Biden access to federal funding and resources to power up his administration mean America is in for a rocky 71 days. Trump may be a lame duck, but he retains the authorities of the presidency until noon on January 20, and his chokehold on the Republican Party was if anything strengthened by winning 70 million votes last week. So the President has the power -- institutional and political -- and apparently the motivation to create a great deal of disruption before returning to civilian life. Read more here

10th November 2020


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