Daily Brief - Tuesday 23rd June, 2020


CMO: Covid19 testing to increase as country reopens

As the population begins to intermingle again, the Ministry of Health is expecting to see a slight increase in virus spread – not necessarily covid19. Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said at the ministry's covid19 briefing on Monday that TT could detect up to 15 different viruses, and health facilities were prepared to see what was circulating in the population. Parasram said covid19 test kits arrived in Tobago over the weekend for testing machines that had been previously obtained. He added that the ministry would send a team to Tobago on Tuesday to train medical staff on its usage for the service to begin there soon. Read more here

Faria stays on as Chamber CEO

Gabriel Faria will remain as Chief Executive Officer at the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce, after apologising last week for comments he made on a WhatsApp that were harshly criticised by the prime minister. In a media statement yesterday, the chamber said the Board of Directors met with Faria to “discuss matters related to recent news and social media coverage”. “As a result of the discussions, the board has determined that Faria will continue in his current position as CEO of the TT Chamber,” the release said. Faria’s position came under question last Wednesday evening after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley took to social media to assail Faria for the statement he (Faria) made on a private chat. At the time that Rowley posted the scathing comments about Faria, it was unclear what the Prime Minister was referring to as Faria had not said anything in the public domain to elicit such a strong response from Dr Rowley. Read more here



Ameen: PNM offered money for intimate photos of UNC candidate

United National Congress (UNC) deputy political leader Khadijah Ameen has claimed the People's National Movement (PNM) offered someone close to a UNC candidate money for intimate photographs of the candidate. Ameen initially raised the issue during the Senate debate on Monday on the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2020. She said a woman may feel shamed if an intimate image is shared, but it was not the same for men. She added that she was aware of a man in the entertainment industry who had an intimate photograph posted by an aggrieved ex and then used it is as his social-media status picture. Read more here

Poll in PNM's PoS South showed Borel unknown

The People's National Movement’s Port-of-Spain South constituency executive will be plain speaking on their candidate Cleopatra Borel when members meet with party leader Dr Keith Rowley and other party officials on Tuesday. The unit was invited to meet the party's leadership after two letters were sent to the party last week expressing disenchantment about Borel, who selected as the candidate to replace incumbent Marlene McDonald in May. The first letter was sent to PNM general secretary Foster Cummings. When there was no response, a second letter reiterating the disenchantment was sent to all executive members and Rowley. After that came the invitation to meet, PoS South officials added. Read more here



‘Slow start’ to reopening

Proprietors in the capital city and at Long Circular Mall, St James, reported a “slow start” yesterday on reopening for dining-in under relaxed Covid-19 rules. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley gave the green light for restaurants and bars to resume serving patrons in-house on Saturday. Read more here



21 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

GUYANA continues to record a consistent increase in the number of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, with tests, over the past 24 hours, producing some 21 new cases of the disease. Health authorities found those cases after conducting 39 tests between Sunday and Monday, said Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, during a virtual COVID-19 update, on Monday. “We have conducted 2,147 tests so far with 1,942 negative cases,” said Dr. Persaud, noting that there were 205 positive cases. Of those cases, 103 persons have recovered and 12 persons have died, but health authorities continue to monitor 90 positive cases, all in institutional isolation. “Even within Guyana, we have not seen a reduction but a constant increase in the number of positive cases with our males continuing to be the sex most affected by this disease and the 20-29 age group being the most-at-risk group according to our data,” the CMO lamented. Read more here

Party full of pastors to challenge JLP, PNP

ALMOST 80 per cent of the candidates who have formed Jamaica’s newest political party are pastors, and the man behind the movement is confident that they will win the next general election. The recently formed Jamaica Progressive Party (JPP) says it is self-funded and sufficiently cash-rich to campaign with the big boys. Pastor Robert Rainford, authorised representative for the JPP, said it was divinely inspired. Read more here



Trump's pandemic failing is now directly impacting his campaign

President Donald Trump is now paying a direct, personal price for his pandemic denial -- the possible shelving of the thing he cares about most, the raucous rallies that defined his political rise and are crucial to his reelection hopes. Trump spent the weekend seething about the disappointing crowd for his comeback event in Oklahoma on Saturday night, according to CNN reporting. His hopes of a full-time return to the campaign trail then took another blow with news that eight staffers and two Secret Service agents at the event are now positive for the coronavirus. The test results cast Trump's risky decision to go ahead with an indoor rally that doctors fear turned into a super-spreader infectious event in an even worse light. They also show how the virus -- now marching through southern and western states despite Trump's insistence that the US has already "prevailed" in the fight -- is having a disastrous impact on the "Great American Comeback" narrative at the heart of his reelection bid. Read more here

Coronavirus: Germany outbreak sparks fresh local lockdown

German authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia are bringing back local lockdown measures after a coronavirus outbreak linked to a meatpacking plant. More than 1,500 employees of the Tönnies plant have tested positive. State premier Armin Laschet said the "preventative measures" in Gütersloh district, home to about 360,000 people, would last until 30 June. It is the first such move since Germany began lifting its lockdown restrictions nationwide in May. The country has been praised for its response to the crisis, but there are fears infections are rising again. Read more here

23rd June 2020


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