The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has pumped some $53 million into the fight against the coronavirus (covid19) thus far, Health, Wellness and Family Development Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine has revealed.Speaking on Tuesday at a virtual news conference, hosted by the division at Scarborough Library, Davidson-Celestine said the sum will also be used to pay some of the Tobago Regional Health Authority’s (TRHA’s) outstanding bills.”I want to indicate that as the Tobago House of Assembly, we have put aside $53 million to fight covid to ensure that we are able to treat with any outstanding bills at the TRHA and to ensure that we are able to procure the services, the equipment, whatever is needed for us to fight this fight that we are all engaged in as individuals, communities and residents of Tobago,” she said.”Representation was made to Central Government and they have acceded to our request and to date we have just about $53 million to help us in that fight with covid.”The division said in a statement on Friday a third individual has tested positive for the virus and is being closely monitored at Scarborough General Hospital. Last week, a male health care worker was also diagnosed with covid19 and was expected to be transferred to Trinidad on Tuesday for further treatment.Davidson-Celestine observed the pandemic has caused much panic and anxiety among members of the public.She said within the past week, the division has been utilising the services of its mental health officers and psychologists to share information so as to reduce the level of panic in the society.Davidson-Celestine also assured the division, through the THA, is doing all in its power to provide health care workers with the necessary resources to fight the virus.”I know there has been some noise in the public domain about the relationship between central government and the Tobago House of Assembly in treating with covid but I want to give you, the members of the public, the assurance that whenever we request any additional support, whether it be from the Ministry of Health or even central government, we will be able to obtain where necessary that support. And so we have been receiving the financial support.”Davidson-Celestine also observed people are still congregating outside of supermarkets and banks.”Do not take this two-week stay (Government restriction on non-essential activity) to mean that we should lime and buss a cook somewhere. I am using this opportunity to ask you to stay at home.”That has been the message. We are asking you if you stay at home that you will prevent the spread of the virus as soon as is possible.”Davidson-Celestine said Tobago’s ability to overcome covid19 depends on how well citizens respond to it within their respective communities.
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