Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Keith Rowley said that a recent spike in COVID-19 case forced the government’s hand in reinstating the ban on recreational team sports.
In addition to a spike in cases, the twin island republic recorded three new deaths yesterday which both the PM and the health minister describe as a worrying trend.
According to Rowley, the ban was not meant to punish people but was a preventative measure to ensure that the nation’s infection rates do not skyrocket as high as some of its Caribbean neighbours’.
“Right now in Trinidad and Tobago, we are in a dangerous place because we have moved from low numbers in a few days. We are seeing some spikes and now we are seeing the spreading of those spikes. If we don’t respond aggressively, we could have wholesale problems like some of our Caribbean colleagues,” said Rowley.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh during an unscheduled virtual media conference expressed similar sentiments, noting that the rollback was absolutely necessary. He cited an increase in pre-pandemic behaviours such as after-game lymes, which he identifies as a dangerous practice.
“We wanted to do it [allow the sports] for people to maintain their physical health and their mental health but … we have noticed that it is more than 22 people,” said Deyalsingh.
“The after-game lime is becoming dangerous, where food and drinks start to come out and people are congregating without mask-wearing. So we are going back to how we were,” added Deyalsingh.
In late February the Government announced that it would ease its initial restrictions on outdoor sports, limiting each game to a maximum of 22 people.