Daily Brief - Tuesday 22nd December, 2020

NEWS

Concerns arise over covid19 vaccine availability

Leaked internal documents of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance seem to suggest concerns about whether and how quickly countries participating in the Covax facility will be able to access vaccines. The documents seem to suggest that some countries may not receive vaccines until 2024. The Covax programme is the main global scheme to vaccinate people in poor and middle-income countries against the coronavirus. Its aim is to deliver at least two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021 to cover 20 per cent of the most vulnerable people in 91 countries. Read more here

Perenco workers beg authorities to step in

Perenco Trinidad and Tobago Limited offshore workers are pleading with the relevant authorities for help, as they fear a mass COVID-19 contamination on the two major platforms they work on and within their families. This is because some of them claim positive and negative workers are still intermingling on the platform, while some of them were allowed to return to their homes before getting tests to confirm whether they had the virus or not. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Al-Rawi: 'Hundreds' of prisoners released through commissioner

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi doubled down on his statement that hundreds of people have been released from prisons under changes to the dangerous drugs bill and as a measure to protect against the spread of covid19. At a news conference at the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs in Port of Spain on Monday, Al-Rawi said his office looked at different ways in which prisoners could be released. Read more here

Health Ministry implements new protocol for UK travellers

The Ministry of Health has implemented a new protocol for travellers coming into T&T from the United Kingdom after news broke of a new strain of the virus circulating within its population there. In a release yesterday, the ministry said those leaving the UK for T&T, where the time between the date of departure and the date of arrival into T&T is 14 days or less, will need a negative PCR test within 72 hours before travelling (much like the mandate for all people entering T&T at this time) and a mandatory 14-day quarantine period to be spent in a state or state-supervised facility. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Freight charges in US dollars next year

Cargo shipper Seaboard Marine Trinidad announced yesterday that effective January 17, 2021, it will require all freight charges for goods imported into Trinidad to be paid in US. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Tourism Interests Back Gov’t Ban On Arrivals From UK

As Jamaica closed its borders to United Kingdom flights on Monday, the country’s largest lobby of hoteliers and tour operators has thrown its weight behind the Holness administration’s decision to shut out British travellers amid the emergence of an ultra-contagious strain of the coronavirus that marked the territory as the sick man of Europe. The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), whose members stand to benefit most from UK tourist arrivals to the island, acknowledged on Monday that the Government was obligated to protect its citizens from a variant of the coronavirus that was still an unknown entity globally. Read more here

US$4M market in northern Brazil to be unlocked

The edge of the border between Guyana and Brazil, Region Nine, has served as conduit for trade and commerce between the two countries, but, for the business people on Guyana’s side, the benefits have been residual because adequate infrastructure such as an industrial park, which will soon be operationalised, was absent for many years. Brazil has been hailed as an “economic powerhouse” for years, with commercial and other economic activities thriving in all corners of the country. And, for business people in Region Nine, this country is basically a goldmine of opportunities. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Some White House advisers fear Trump's final days

President Donald Trump has turned to a fringe group of advisers peddling increasingly dubious tactics to overturn the results of the election, creating a dire situation that multiple senior officials and people close to the President say has led to new levels of uncertainty at how Trump will resist the coming end to his tenure. "No one is sure where this is heading," one official said on Monday. "He's still the President for another month." Read more here

Covid-19 pandemic: UK isolated amid global alarm at new virus strain

The UK is engaged in urgent talks to unblock its international isolation after more than 40 countries suspended travel links, alarmed by a new coronavirus variant in the UK. EU member states will consider co-ordinating restrictions later, but so far they have responded individually. Sweden banned foreign travellers from Denmark after cases of the variant were discovered there. It appears to be more transmissible, but there is no sign it is more deadly. Read more here

22nd December 2020

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