Daily Brief - Wednesday 29th July, 2020

NEWS

One more tests positive for covid19, now 154 cases

One more person has tested positive for covid19 since the Ministry of Health’s 10 am update on Tuesday, bringing the total up to 154. The ministry’s 6 pm update said the additional case is a primary contact of a recent covid19 positive patient. Read more here

SEA date stays at August 20

Despite concerns over the localised spread of COVID-19 across in T&T, the date for this year’s rescheduled Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam will remain August 20.Following a virtual meeting with stakeholders yesterday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) stuck with the date. Education Minister Anthony Garcia said the decision was agreed by all stakeholders to be in the best interest of students.“We remain committed to providing an environment that is safe for learning and teaching, particularly during this time, while all schools continue to observe the protocols aligned to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 guidelines,” Garcia said. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Rowley 'zesses' through Diego Martin West

Residents of Diego Martin West were treated to music and live entertainment on Tuesday, as the PNM candidate and Prime Minister Dr Rowley rolled through in a motorcade calling on them to come out and vote for him on August 10. Rowley has served as the constituency's MP for 29 years and is seeking a second term as PM. Riding atop a truck,  Rowley journeyed from Carenage to Diego Martin, making a few stops along the way. While many in his entourage adhered to covid19 rules, not everyone wore masks, and physical distancing was set aside as the Carnival-like atmosphere encouraged support for Rowley. Read more here

EBC confirms 150 candidates, 19 parties for election

Five-way fights will be taking place in the key marginal seats of Moruga and San Fernando West for the August 10 General Election - and four other marginals will involve four-way fights. The lay of the political land was revealed in the Election and Boundaries Commission’s notice of taking a poll published in Tuesday's newspapers. The EBC stated that 150 candidates from 19 parties, plus Independents, are contesting in the 41 seats for the election. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Witco hardly affected, but TCL hit hard by coronavirus

Although the two companies, the West Indian Tobacco Company (Witco) and Trinidad Cement Ltd  (TCL) received special exemptions from the Government to resume operations, early during the “stay-at-home” period of the current pandemic, their financial results were strikingly dissimilar. For the six months ended June 30, 2020, Witco’s net profit of $194 million represented a $16.14 million or 7.68 per cent decline, while TCL’s net profit of $10.4 million showed a $22.95 million or 68.74 per cent decrease. Read more here

New international hotel coming to Tobago

A brand new international hotel, which boasts of 72 guest rooms, is coming to Tobago. The hotel, Comfort Inn & Suites, will be opened soon in downtown Scarborough. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘Play-play’ bodyguard - CMU student paid as close-protection officer for Ruel Reid

A marine student from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) was among those assigned to provide close-protection services for then education minister Ruel Reid, even though the student had no special training in security. The CMU student, normally dressed in full white and opening doors for the now-resigned minister, as well as saluting him, among other rituals, was recruited to offer “support to the minister” under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the education ministry and the university. Read more here

Guyana outlook positive

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said that despite uncertainties related to the coronavirus, the political context, and the fall in oil prices earlier in the year, Guyana’s outlook remains positive due to the sheer volume of expected oil production. With Guyana beginning oil production in December 2019, one of the main transmission mechanisms of the global economic and health crises is through its impact on commodity prices, namely oil and gold, which are expected to be Guyana’s largest exports in 2020. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump undermines his pandemic response with more misinformation and self-obsession

President Donald Trump's return as the face of the Covid-19 response has deteriorated into a misinformation masterclass that explains why America is in such a mess. In an extraordinary performance Tuesday, as the daily death toll again soared toward 1,000 and the number of Americans dead approached a tragic milestone of 150,000, Trump again foreswore the most basic requirements of national leadership in a crisis. At a White House briefing that turned almost into a parody of his own mismanagement of the pandemic, he complained that the government's top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, had better approval ratings than he did. Read more here

Coronavirus: Hong Kong on verge of 'large-scale' outbreak, says Carrie Lam

Hong Kong's hospital system could face "collapse" as it grapples with a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, the city's leader Carrie Lam has warned. She said the city was "on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak" and urged people to stay indoors. New regulations, including mandatory face masks and the closure of dine-in restaurants, kicked in on Wednesday. Hong Kong - which had early success against Covid-19 - is now regularly reporting over 100 new daily cases. Less than a month ago, the average number of new daily cases was under 10. Read more here

29th July 2020

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