Seecheran Calls on Deyalsingh to Come Clean on Covid Money

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By Chantalé Fletcher

CARONI East Opposition MP Dr Rishad Seecharan is calling on Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh to account millions in Covid-19 expenditure.

He was speaking at Signature Hall in Chaguanas at a meeting of the Star team for the June 15 UNC internal elections. Dr Seecharan produced a document filed under the Freedom of Information Act by Barataria\San Juan MP Saddam Hosein showing that the Ministry of Health Covid-19 expenditure during the pandemic from January 2020 to September 2022 was $210 million .

He cited a Newsday article titled, “Deyalsingh: $480m spent in covid19 fight” on September 12, 2021.

Dr Seecharan said in the article Delyasingh thanked taxpayers for their contributions that went towards infrastructure, human resources and consumables including building and upgrading facilities, paying for quarantine and buying equipment and personal protective equipment.

He also quoted the health minister as saying, “We must thank the taxpayer for this.  The taxpayer has rushed to the rescue of Trinidad and Tobago to the tune of $480 million, that is almost half a billion dollars.” 

However, Dr Seecharan broke down the expenditure from an official document from the Ministry of Health, “Hotel Accommodation $4.3 million, payment to suppliers $112.8 million  and this includes decontamination, electronics, clothing, hotlines, vaccines, test kits and advertising; payment to staff, $7 million, ambulance services $39 million, payment to RHA’s $47 million and that gives us a grand total of $210 million.”

He said the document showed $210 million was spent instead of the $480 million. He called on Deyalsingh for clarity .

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Dr Seecheran said,“ Up to today the government has never revealed in any great detail how many monies and how they were spent during covid 19 while we were all under lock down.”

He noted, “It will take a Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration to unravel what really happened during Covid -19.”

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