PRESIDENT of the Public Services Association (PSA) Watson Duke wants N95 respirator masks for immigration and customs workers.
He has given Minister of Health Terrance Deyalsingh 48 hours to provide them with these masks to protect them from contracting the novel coronavirus.
At a press conference at the PSA office, Abercromby Street in Port-of-Spain on Wednesday, Duke said if the workers were not properly equipped, he will meet with them on Friday to discuss their next move.
Duke said, “What they have now is a Cepep mask. It is not a mask that can prevent droplets and particle matter from entering your respiratory system. It is not a mask that can prevent you from contacting diseases.
“It would be a case of neglect, a case of misbehaviour in public office if he (the Health Minister) doesn’t listen and implement it.
“I am giving him 48 hours. Within that time I want every immigration officer, every custom officer at all ports of entry to be given on of these mask and we want the high-end version.”
Duke added, “We want to know if the minister of health or the minister of security is responsible for biosecurity. Tomorrow, a plane will land at ANR Robinson Airport and scores of Chinese will be on that plane.
“We are convinced the people of China are taking all the precautions they can to ensure it doesn’t spread.
“But just peradventure, one of these people who have the virus lands in Tobago airport, how do we protect our customs and immigration officers.”