HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said on Wednesday that the recent end of the state of emergency (SoE) had facilitated an improvement in the country’s vaccination rate, which rose from 22% to 45% of the population.
In the House of Representatives, he answered an urgent question about his plans to tackle a third wave of covid19, asked by Chief Opposition Whip David Lee for Caroni Central MP Arnold Ram. The minister reiterated his warning in August that it was only a matter of time before the delta variant reached TT.
“At that time our seven-day moving average was 221, our vaccination rate was 21% or 298,481. We started planning with the SoE.
“Because of this, our vaccination rate has dropped from 22% to 45%, or 631,960 people.
“Without the SOE, we would not have been able to initiate the hiring of 466 additional vaccinators without touching the parental legislation.” The SoE took place from May 15 to November 17.
Deyalsingh said the ministry has 300 vaccination points, including those facilitated by using a public-private partnership (PPP) model, including sites such as Divali Nagar and NAPA.
He said the ministry had activated nine hospitals, seven reduction facilities, so the parallel health system now has 999 beds.
“Throughout this time, we have embarked on a strong public education campaign – the three W’s and immunization.” The three W’s wear a mask, wash their hands and watch their distance from others.
Deyalsingh said two weeks ago that the ministry had launched National Emergency Operations Centers to activate 13 additional intensive care unit (ICU) beds since last week on Wednesday.
“We are in talks with the major pharmaceutical manufacturers for advanced drugs, whether they are antivirals or other therapeutics, as well as vaccines for children aged 5 to 11.
“All of this we have done. While we are at a 45 percent vaccination rate, it is still not good enough. I would like to take this opportunity once again to urge all who are not not vaccinated listen to science, believe in science and do the right thing. Continue with the three W’s and get vaccinated so we can all have a merry Christmas. “
Responding to Lee’s additional question as to whether TT needed international assistance, Deyalsingh replied, “We have always relied on international cooperation through Trinidad-based PAHO, WHO, Carpha, University. from the West Indies and other universities and experts from around the world. “