Borough Day events canceled to protect against covid


Faris Al-Rawi, Minister of Rural Development and Local Authorities. –

Faris Al-Rawi, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, said Trinidad and Tobago must accept that despite the lifting of most public health restrictions, it is very easy for the country to still be overwhelmed by the covid19 virus, if people and communities are not careful and vigilant.

He said the government has decided to cancel some of the major events associated with Pt Fortin Borough Day because there is always a risk that such events could be super-spreaders of the virus.

It was announced over the weekend that regular Borough Day activities, including the popular J’Ouvert celebrations, will no longer take place.

Speaking to Newsday on Monday, Al-Rawi told Newsday, “This is an issue that several Cabinet members discussed: the Minister of Health, me as Minister of Local Government and Acting Attorney General, as well than ministers in the Prime Minister’s Office and even the Prime Minister himself.”

He said the data stream from the Ministry of Health came with the caution that with the celebration coinciding with the return of children to school, it would be best to have a readjustment.

“The last thing we want is to see TT plunge, as different parts of the world are currently finding themselves, into a restriction that is brought back due to surges of a different variant or another.”

Asked why a decision had been made so late – two days after the launch of Borough Day celebrations – and after significant preparations and investment had been made.

“You now know that every two weeks there is an epidemiological cycle of data. It’s a constant dynamism that all government entities pay attention to, and as a result, it’s not uncommon for us to have a constant bi-weekly review. It is the fluidity of the transition from pandemic to endemic.

While events such as J’Ouvert, pan extravaganza, military parade, traditional mas and all community spotlights have been canceled, Point Fortin Mayor Saleema Thomas did not say whether the boroughs managed by the private sector would or would not continue as planned.

Asked about it, Al-Rawi said the government is doing its best to phase out the virus where it has control.

“As you know, the regulations are in effect. What we, the government, have control over is what the government has control over and nothing else.

“The issue of public and private (events) is separate. In the mayor’s statement, you saw that there was a call for people to try to cooperate with all of this. We urge people to remember that we are still in a pandemic and to deal with it.”

Maria R. Newman