Daily Brief - Tuesday 27th October, 2020

NEWS

Principal Medical Officer: Parallel health system far from full

As repatriation of citizens and the lifting of some public health regulations continues, Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said local healthcare facilities are capable of accommodating infected people if the number of covid19 cases increases. Abdool-Richards was responding to questions from reporters during the Ministry of Health's covid19 update on Monday. She said the repatriation process has been carefully planned to allow for maximum intake while ensuring facilities were not overwhelmed with cases. She said as of Monday, there were 600 spaces available for quarantine, with 1,551 beds spread across 19 facilities. Read more here

CJ restarts in-court hearing on limited basis

The Judiciary has amended its policy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to allow for in-person hearings in limited circumstances. The change, which comes amid criticism over the Judiciary’s almost sole reliance on virtual hearings since the pandemic started, was contained in Practice Directions issued by Chief Justice Ivor Archie on Sunday. While in-person hearings were previously only permitted for domestic violence cases, under the new Practice Direction, they will be permitted where witnesses have to tender documents into evidence, where identification is a material issue in the case and when witnesses are unable to appear electronically or from one of the Judiciary’s Virtual Access Customer Centres. Read more here

 

POLITICS

John: Government confused about covid19

Opposition Senator Jearlean John on Monday claimed the Government was confused about how to handle the covid19 pandemic. In her contribution to the budget debate in the Senate, John quipped, "It appears left foot doesn't know what right foot is doing." John recalled Public Administration Minister Allyson West speaking about strategies to help public servants work at home when West spoke in the debate on October 23. Read more here

Govt to launch community response unit for social cases

The Social Development Ministry is launching a community First Responders’ system to ensure communities have dedicated groups of people taking care of each other in emergencies from natural disasters and bereavement to retrenchment. And the ministry’s also providing services to assist grandparents raising grandchildren alone. Social Development Minister Donna Cox revealed this yesterday during her contribution to the Senate’s 2021 Budget debate. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Brian Lewis on how sport can drive innovation

With over 32 years in sports leadership, there are few people who can claim to have had the depth of influence that Brian Lewis has had over the development of Caribbean sport. Now the president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), he started out very differently, raised by a single mother in Belmont. Read more here

Govt moves to revitalise city

Government has begun plans to revitalise urban spaces in T&T. In a statement the Ministry of Planning and Development said projects will be developed using public private partnerships, adding that some of the proposed sites include The Memorial Plaza Project, Salvatori Building Project, Piccadilly Development Project, The Foreshore Green Park Development, City Gate Development and Colville Street Development – The PowerGen Site. The ministry said this is in keeping with one of its key budget items for 2021. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

GECOM must be ‘fixed’ before Local Gov’t Elections

Guyana’s elections machinery, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), will have to be ‘fixed’ before Local Government Elections are held, said President Irfaan Ali. Those elections are due next year, and while President Ali said he will not override anyone’s right to vote, he believes that the commission lost public trust due to the events that followed the March 2, General and Regional Elections, which ended on August 2, 2020. The protracted electoral process had “raised eyebrows” not just in Guyana, but internationally. Read more here

Billion$ Bill - Conservative Estimate For Flood Damage, But Assessors Still Counting Costs

The torrential rains that set off landslides and flooding, damaging roads and other infrastructure across several parishes, are expected to incur a repair bill of more than $1 billion. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie made the revelation to Television Jamaica on Monday night. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie made the revelation to Television Jamaica on Monday night, but that toll could rise as assessments pour in. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Covid: Protests take place across Italy over anti-virus measures

Protests took place across Italy on Monday over new restrictions to curb the country's second wave of Covid. Clashes were reported in the northern cities such as Turin, where petrol bombs were thrown at officers. In Milan tear gas was used to disperse protesters, and thousands of people gathered in the centre of Naples. Read more here

Biden makes play for red states in final days of campaign as Trump narrows his focus

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign is making a late push into deeper-red states in the final week before the 2020 election, chasing a number of possible paths to 270 electoral votes while President Donald Trump focuses on defending a narrower set of states that he won four years ago but where polls show he now trails. Biden is set to visit Georgia and Iowa this week, while his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, travels Friday to Texas -- all states Trump won handily in 2016. Read more here

27th October 2020

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