Daily Brief - Wednesday 31st March, 2021

NEWS

Over 33,000 Covax vaccines arrive at Piarco

Some 33,600 initial doses or about one-third of this country's first allocation of covid19 vaccines from Covax arrived at Piarco Airport on Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Health has confirmed. It comes after 18 more people tested positive for covid19 over a 24-hour period, as relayed by the ministry in its 4 pm covid19 update on Tuesday, taking the total number of active cases to 254 at the last count. Read more here

WPC killed, two other officers injured in PBR collision

A woman municipal police officer was killed and two of her colleagues left in critical condition after their marked police vehicle crashed into two other vehicles including a red band maxi taxi along the Priority Bus Route in D’abadie, Arima on Tuesday afternoon. The dead officer has been identified as Constable Anisa Sookdeo of the Arima Municipal Police Station. Police said she died on the scene. Police reports revealed that around 4.10 pm Sookdeo was driving a marked police van which crashed into a pick-up van and a maxi taxi near the traffic light intersection at Boy’s Lane. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Gadsby-Dolly: Online assessment, means test coming

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly on Friday said a committee established by the ministry will submit a report on the standardisation of assessments for online classes taking place during the covid19 pandemic. She also disclosed that on April 12, a means test will be held to determine the students who will benefit from the purchase of a first tranche of 20,000 electronic devices. Responding to questions on both issues from Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes in the House of Representatives, Gadsby-Dolly said, "A committee was recently formed and should be soon convened to deal with the form of this national standardised assessment." Read more here

 

BUSINESS

NFM’s profits jump 282%

Majority State-owned, National Flour Mills, recorded a 282 per cent increase in its audited after-tax profits for the year ended December 31, 2020, according to the company’s financial report, which was published yesterday on the website of the T&T Stock Exchange. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Double-digit growth to remain

Guyana’s economy will remain resilient against the effects of the dreaded novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, maintaining its positive growth trajectory as the burgeoning petroleum sector ‘picks up steam’, the World Bank has said. Based on the latest estimates, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Latin American and Caribbean Region will be 2.6 per cent lower at the end of 2021 than it was at the end of 2019. The World Bank, in its semi-annual report on the region, said while most of the region should be enjoying strong economic rebound in 2021, Haiti and Suriname are expected to experience negative growth. On the other hand, Guyana’s growth rate will remain in the double digits, the bank said. Guyana grew at an extraordinary rate of 43.5 per cent in 2020, having completed a year of oil production. The positive spillover effects were, however, dampened by a deep contraction in the non-oil economy, triggered by measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here

Lawmakers rail against guilty cutting 50% deals on murder sentences

As pressure mounts on the Andrew Holness administration to respond to recent chilling attacks on women, government backbencher Kerensia Morrison questioned, on Tuesday, discounts of up to 50 per cent on sentences for persons who plead guilty to a crime. Morrison has the backing of the prime minister and Opposition Leader Mark Golding, which could set the stage for a review of the law, which is bound to provoke lawyers at the criminal Bar who in 2015 hailed the move. The brutal killing of 20-year-old Khanice Jackson sparked fire in the belly of the first-term parliamentarian on Tuesday as she unleashed with fury. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

14 countries and WHO chief accuse China of withholding data from pandemic origins investigation

It was supposed to offer insight into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. But since its release on Tuesday, the long-awaited World Health Organization investigation has drawn criticism from governments around the world over accusations it is incomplete and lacks transparency. In a joint statement, the United States and 13 other governments, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Korea, expressed concerns over the study's limited access to "complete, original data and samples." Read more here

Brazil: Political crisis and Covid surge rock Bolsonaro

Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro is facing the biggest crisis of his presidency after the heads of the army, navy and air force all quit and the country recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll. The unprecedented resignation of the defence chiefs is being seen as a protest at attempts by Mr Bolsonaro to exert undue control over the military. Mr Bolsonaro's popularity has plummeted over his response to Covid-19. Nearly 314,000 people have died, with a new daily record of 3,780 on Tuesday. Read more here

31st March 2021

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