Daily Brief - Wednesday 7th April, 2021


Supermarkets head calls for partnership to buy more covid19 vaccines

The Supermarkets Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) has said it was time the government implored the assistance of the private sector to ensure herd inoculation against the covid19 virus. In a media statement on Tuesday, its president Rajiv Diptee said not enough was being done to protect citizens and restart the economy, which was on the brink of collapse. He said, “The prerogative of the state is to address the basic needs of its citizenry; if the state has by its own means not accessed a satisfactory number of vaccines to satisfy the requirements necessary for mass vaccination, the private sector including the SATT knows what needs to be done. We cannot see these persons in our communities continue like this any more.” Read more here

40,000 India vaccines due in T&T on Monday

India High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Arun Kumar Sahu says his country’s donation of 40,000 COVID-19 vaccines should be here next Monday. Sahu’s office issued an update on the vaccine arrival to the media via email yesterday. “The Government of India’s donation of 40,000 Covishield vaccines to Trinidad and Tobago is scheduled to arrive in Port-of-Spain on Monday, 12th April 2021. Necessary logistics have been put in place for its delivery,” Sahu said. Read more here



UNC MP wants clarity over state contract for AG’s wife

Naparima MP Rodney Charles is questioning whether there is a correlation between the “gutting” of the procurement legislation and the state contract awarded to the law firm owned by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi’s wife. Noting the recent decision by Cabinet to remove oversight of the procurement office over legal, audit, financial and other service, Charles is now calling on the Government to clear the air. Read more here

Works Ministry ready to assist residents affected by damaged bridge

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says his Ministry stands ready to assist residents of Houssa Trace whose lives are hampered by a collapsed bridge in their community. On Saturday, the residents lit tyres and rubbish across the road in protest, saying that farmers could not get their produce out while an ambulance could not respond swiftly to help a pregnant woman because it had to take a lengthy detour. It led Councillor for Caratal/Tortuga Jenna Lee Ramoutar-Ramsaroop to call on Sinanan to bring relief to the residents by installing a bailey bridge. Ramoutar-Ramsaroop said the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation did not have the funds to repair the bridge. Read more here



UWI economic researcher: TT-US dollar rate must depreciate

There is no question that the country's exchange rate needs to be depreciated. How it will be done is the questions the country's leaders must ask themselves. This was the view of UWI research fellow Dr Dave Seerattan at the University of the West Indies' (UWI) Department of Economics' Demas-Rampersad Seminar Series called Foreign Exchange Challenges in TT: What are the real implications? Read more here

Caribbean Airlines transports vaccines to Barbados/Dominica

Caribbean Airlines Cargo yesterday carried COVID-19 vaccines from Miami to Barbados and Dominica. In a statement CAL said the vaccines were transported to Barbados through the carrier’s freighter service and the shipment destined for Dominica, was then moved to the island on a Caribbean Airlines Cargo charter flight, a service offered by the airline to facilitate the shipment of critical supplies throughout the region in the light of the pandemic. “Caribbean Airlines is well-placed to support our region in its efforts towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have successfully delivered COVID-19 vaccines to Barbados, Dominica and Guyana and are committed to continuing the swift, secure and seamless movement of these important shipments as the Caribbean rolls out vaccination programmes,” Marklan Moseley, General Manager—Cargo and New Business, Caribbean Airlines said. Read more here



Economy to grow 16.4 per cent

Guyana’s projected economic growth for 2021, measured through its real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has doubled from 8.1 percent to 16.4 per cent, according to the biannual International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s World Economic Outlook. Earlier projections from the IMF indicated that Guyana’s GDP would grow by 8.1 per cent this year, building on the 26.2 per cent real GDP growth projected for 2020. But, in this 2021 Outlook, the IMF reported that Guyana’s GDP grew by 43.4 per cent in 2020 and is now projected to grow by 16.4 per cent in 2021. The Real GDP is an inflation-adjusted measure that reflects the value of all goods and services produced by an economy (in this case, Guyana’s economy) in a given year. In simpler terms, the real GDP measures a country’s total economic output, adjusted for price changes. Read more here

Arrest looms in whipping probe

The woman accused of beating a two-year-old baby while in her care at the T’s Tiny Tots Daycare Centre in Falmouth, Trelawny, is to be charged this Friday, the police have confirmed. Read more here



Covid: Brazil has more than 4,000 deaths in 24 hours for first time

Brazil has recorded more than 4,000 Covid-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time, as a more contagious variant fuels a surge in cases. Hospitals are overcrowded, with people dying as they wait for treatment in some cities, and the health system is on the brink of collapse in many areas. The country's total death toll is now almost 337,000, second only to the US. But President Jair Bolsonaro continues to oppose any lockdown measures to curb the outbreak. He argues that the damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the virus itself, and has tried to reverse some of the restrictions imposed by local authorities in the courts. Read more here

Iraq battles two killer epidemics at once: Crystal meth and Covid-19

For nearly a month, Khaled lay on a threadbare mattress, writhing in pain. Until 2014, he worked as a security contractor in northern Iraq. When ISIS swept through the area, he lost his job and spiraled into a depression. Now in a prison cell, he has just recovered from withdrawal symptoms after years of crystal meth abuse. "The situation in the country was rough. You go and try to find work, but there was no work," he says. "Once, twice and I was hooked (on crystal meth). I was trapped. I couldn't get out." The woman he says was the love of his life left him. Read more here

7th April 2021


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