Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 19th 2015 Contents SHARLENE RAMPERSAD
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
says the opposition s team of attorneys will
be compiling a database of job losses under
the PNM Government.
Persad-Bissessar addressed the issue of
Housing Development Corporation (HDC)
managing director Jearlean John and seven
other members of senior management being
sent on leave by the board, during a Christmas
"toy drive" in her Siparia constituency.
"They have just been summarily sent away.
What is the cause? What are the reasons?"
Persad-Bissessar asked. "I do believe some
of the job losses and some of the sending
home is to do with political victimisation.
They are politically motivated and there are
matters that we will be looking at.
"Our team of lawyers, they ve been gath-
ering a database of job losses, causes and rea-
sons and we will take it up appropriately."
Commenting on the state of the economy,
she slammed the PNM administration for
playing the blame game.
"I think what we are seeing is a lot more
old talk, more blame rather than prudent fiscal
management of the economy at this time. I
am not seeing the management level that one
would have expected from a Government who
said, look they are coming there, they in
charge, and it is just not happening."
She said the economy was beginning to
contract because the Government has put all
major projects on hold.
"The economy is at a standstill, the econ-
omy is contracting and when that starts hap-
pening that takes a long time to kickstart.
The Government has really put everything
on hold, no projects are taking place and
therefore there seems to be no plan to grow
Comparing how her former People s Part-
nership administration started its term of
office to how the current administration has
done so since September, Persad-Bissessar
said, "In our 100 days the first thing we did
was to establish the Children s Life Fund. Now
they are consulting and reviewing and con-
sulting, name me one project in the first 100
days that has been beneficial to the country.
"What we have seen is the budget and then
cuts in terms of people s jobs, freezing wages
and so on. I have not seen one positive project
coming out of the Government in the first
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In October, former health minister Dr Fuad
Khan called on citizens to be cautious as there
was a resurgence of the virus in India and
parts of South Asia, which share close ties
He noted the 2009 pandemic in which
14,286 confirmed deaths were reported and
called on local authorities to put the proper
measures in place.
Khan's call followed the death of a Siparia
woman, Cherrie Ryce, that same month as a
result of H1N1 at the San Fernando General
The death was brought to the attention of
the media by concerned relatives.
In October, the Caribbean Public Health
Agency said it had received 284 samples for
influenza virus testing, of which 47 tested
positive while 14 were typed as Influenza-A
Kamla: UNC lawyers creating database on job loss
29 confirmed swine flu cases this year
There have been 29 lab-confirmed cases
of the H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in this
country so far for 2015, with three resulting
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh,
yesterday, shared this information in an
attempt to clear the air on what he said
was "misinformation" in the public sphere.
Deyalsingh held the first of what is to be
a weekly media conference on health issues
at the ministry s Park Street, Port-of-Spain,
head office, yesterday morning.
"We are not in a crisis as far as H1N1 is
concerned," Deyalsingh said.
He said two of the three deaths were as
a result of patients with co-morbidities
such as diabetes.
The other death was a patient who had
a kidney transplant and whose immunity
had been severely compromised.
He defined the at-risk groups for the
virus as healthcare workers, children, preg-
nant women and the elderly.
He said despite these being the at-risk
groups, the majority of confirmed cases
were people between the ages of 20 and
64.The cases have been found in St George
West, St Andrew, St David and Naparima/
Deyalsingh also commented on the front
page story of a daily newspaper today which
reported an H1N1 scare at the Sangre Grande
The report said nurses and patients were
scared, with some patients discharging
themselves from the hospital to avoid con-
tact with the man rumoured to have the
The Sangre Grande hospital has no iso-
Deyalsingh denied that the case in Sangre
Grande had been confirmed as an H1N1
case and said the diagnosis so far was viral
He said workers were given full PPE gear
to wear and had been provided with vac-
"The problem is that not all healthcare
workers are willing to take the vaccines."
Asked why healthcare workers were refus-
ing the vaccine, Chief Medical Officer Dr
Clive Tilluckdharry said he did not know.
He gave assurances that there were
enough vaccines and antiviral treatments
for the at-risk groups in the country.
The ministry had procured 20,000 doses
of vaccine but 80 per cent have been used.
The country currently has 3,500 adult
vaccines and 4,000 children vaccines.
The ministry has also placed an order
with the Pan American Health Organisation
for 20,000 additional vaccines.
Deyalsingh also cautioned parents of asth-
matic children or anyone taking steroid
treatments to visit their nearest health centre
to access the vaccine as these people fell
within the at-risk groups. Steroids reduce
the activity of the immune system.
See Page A5
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar distributes toys in her constituency during her annual christmas toy drive in Penal, yesterday. PHOTO:
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