Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh
By Sue-Ann Wayow
THERE is no evidence of any fake PCR test being produced by anyone entering the country.
This is according to Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh who responding to an urgent questions from the Opposition in Parliament on Friday. He repeated, “There is no evidence.”
The Minister was initially asked by Member of Parliament for Pointe-a-Pierre David Lee, “ Given a recent report which revealed that foreign individuals were allegedly granted exemptions to enter Trinidad and Tobago using fake PCR negative Tests, could the Minister confirm if this is so?”
Deyalsingh responded, “In checking with the Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, the Principal Medical Officer of Institutions Dr Maryam Richards, they have had absolutely no evidence or reports or could confirm that this is in fact true. There is absolutely no evidence to date that this is in fact true.”
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal also questioned whether persons were being issued fake PCR tests based on a newspaper report on Friday to which Deyalsingh again responded, “ There is no evidence of a fake PCR test.”
Deyalsingh continued, “If anyone have any evidence of fake PCR test, I urge the Opposition to share it with us so that in the interest of protecting all of us, we could work together. If you have evidence of a fake PCR test from a lab abroad, please, bring it to our attention and we will investigate it.”
Also in responding to a question asked by MP for Barataria San Juan Saddam Hosein, Deyalsingh said the issue with yellow fever being circulated in red howler monkeys was not a national one.
Hosein asked, “In light of the recent discovery of yellow fever in red howler monkeys in Trinidad, could the Minister state what urgent steps are being taken to vaccinate the population to reach the 95% requirement recommended by the WHO (World Health Organisation)?”
Deyalsingh said the Ministry of Health was on a drive to vaccinate children mainly under two years in four districts, St George West, St George Central, County Caroni and Tobago.
Some 1,325 were expected to get vaccinated.
He said, “Since May 2020, we have been urging parents, don’t let Covid be an excuse to bring in your children for their annual vaccines and we continue to urge parents to come in, get the yellow fever vaccination it is free of charge.”
Deyalsingh added that the WHO target will be met depending on parents.
The minister said parents were being contacted via phone to have their children vaccinated.
“Parents have to make the final step to bring their children in for vaccination. We continue to do this on a local level in the four areas identified.”
He also advised against going into forested areas and for hunters and hikers, a vaccine should be a priority.
And Deyalsingh added that while spraying and fogging could assist in the spread of disease by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, general clean-up of water containers by the public could go a long way in disease prevention.