Written by Howard Hughes

Little did Terrence Deyalsingh know that when he accepted the ministerial position of Minister of Health, that he was about to take on one of the herculean tasks in his public and private career.

He was the right man for the right time. COVID-19 almost shut down the entire world but was not able to quiet Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.

He should be given one of the highest forms of recognition in the Keith Rowley Government before the next election is called, which is due sometime later this year.

We here at T&T WEEKLY NEWS (NY) endorses and encourages any form of recognition accorded to him by the Cabinet and the President’s office.

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh was tempted and agitated by the opposition UNC and many of its followers with many disparaging comments falsely made against him. But Terrence Deyalsingh kept his focus on the devasting situation facing not only Trinidad & Tobago but the rest of the world.

At times, I was genuinely concern about his strength, health and his ability to stay the course.

According, to an article in the Global Voices of March 15, 2020, written by Janine Mendes-Franco, she stated that “Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh described the government’s response to the COVID-19 situation as “forceful” and “decisive”, ever since it instituted its first travel restriction on January 30, adding that the two main hospitals designated to treat cases of the disease were Caura (reputed for its specialisation in treating respiratory conditions) and Couva, located in central Trinidad. Should case numbers surge, he added, the Arima hospital in the northern part of the country would provide additional capacity.”

In another article in the Daily Express of March 12, 2020 written by Richard Charan it stated that “Trinidad and Tobago is reporting its first confirmed imported case of novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh this afternoon disclosed that a patient had tested positive for the virus.

The patient is a 52-year-old man.”

“The arrival of the virus had been anticipated for weeks, with the Health Ministry preparing a containment plan with the hope of delaying the spread and preventing the upheaval that happened in other countries.”

“Prior to the announcement today, Deyalsingh said Cabinet had taken the decision to ban all cruise ships from visiting Trinidad and Tobago for the rest of the cruise ship season, in an effort to protect T&T from imported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).”

Prime Minister Rowley and the rest of the Cabinet really need to think clearly and recognize Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh for going beyond his call of duty and determination and dedication to serve the general population.

Many international world bodies and health authorities were so impressed with the great work of the Minister of Health and the Trinidad & Tobago Government that they were given high recognition in being placed in the number one group position among the top performing countries against the fight of COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not only affect the economic, social and religious arms of most countries but created disharmony among the political organs of governments and oppositions and Trinidad & Tobago was able to properly manage the many challenging disparities.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the political systems of multiple countries causing suspensions of legislative activities, isolation or deaths of multiple politicians, and rescheduling of elections due to fears of spreading the virus.

The general election which under normal conditions, according to our Westminster system form of government, which offers several different options for calling a general election date include calling an early election before the end of parliament or after the end of a Parliamentary term, which is September 2020.  

The general election could be delayed but according to Prime Minister Rowley, he often states that “It will be held when constitutionally due” despite the coronavirus. Pre-campaigning was partially suspended on 13 March following news of the first reported case of COVID-19 in Trinidad & Tobago.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram, National Security Minister Stuart Young, Prime Minister Keith Rowley, the cabinet, the government and the population are all in order deserving of praise and recognition for promoting and practicing safe guidelines against the fight of COVID-19 pandemic in Trinidad & Tobago.

Photo 1: Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

Photo 2: (Right to Left) Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram, right, addresses the media during a press conference to inform the nation of Trinidad and Tobago’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Also, in attendance is Stuart Young, Minister of National Security, Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health and Donna Cox, Minister of Communications.