Indian disaster offers a stern warning to our Govt

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The BBC has recently been reporting on the Covid crisis in India. A new wave of Covid has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums. Yes, crematoriums.

Vaccine hesitancy has been replaced by vaccine panic. India, the country that produces more than half the world’s vaccines, has vaccinated only five per cent of its population, and this has resulted in the massive spread. The slow roll-out of vaccinations was blamed on government self-congratulation, complacency and hubris.

This Indian disaster must serve as a warning to our Government as to the consequences of falling behind in the vaccine drive. Sure, we only had 70,000 vaccines to start, but it has taken a month to use 40,000 of them and our issue now will be vaccine scarcity exacerbated by the Indian crisis.

While the roll-out has been described as smooth, I know of people over 60 turned away from multiple locations before getting an appointment. Originally there were only two centres in all of North-West Trinidad. At the Savannah on Saturday it was smooth for many, but the person I dropped for a 9 a.m. appointment took three hours before they were through.

This is not meant as a criticism, but a warning that with a population of 1.4 million and an inadequate supply of vaccine and inadequate roll-out capacity (with the private sector not co-opted), we still face an existential crisis that warrants no complacency or self- congratulation.

This crisis affects us all and it is a shame some parliamentarians think this is a political issue warranting grandstanding and blame. Such is Trinidad.

As the late Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) might have said, ‘gimme de ting dat de doctor order me’.

William Lucie-Smith
Maraval