Even as Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday announced there will be no state-sponsored Christmas parties throughout the public sector this year as they do not want people to congregate and increase COVID-19 figures, the country recorded two additional deaths.
Whilst the weekend briefing was taking place with Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram reporting the death toll had remained at 113, the Ministry of Health updated their statistics which revealed that COVID-19 deaths had risen to 115 as at 4 pm yesterday.
Addressing the nation from the Scarborough Library Facility, Rowley said the behaviours of citizens within the next month would determine if schools would reopen in January 2021.
He said, “The Ministry of Health has asked the private sector not to have Christmas parties. It is not that we don’t want to celebrate Christmas. It is not that we are Ebenezer Scrooge and cousins of Scrooge. It is that the issue we are facing and fighting is the issue of contact…issue of infection crossing from person to person through contact where there is congregation.”
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh also appealed to families to reduce gatherings and limit their numbers during events planned for the holiday season. He also called on businesses to refrain from holding Christmas parties.
Deyalsingh said, "I want to reach out to all Chambers of Commerce to ask their membership not to have Christmas parties. I have spoken to my own Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health and we will be having no Christmas functions.
"I want to reach out to all religious leaders…tell your flocks, your devotees, your jamaats to avoid family gatherings this Christmas season. Every leader of a non-governmental organisation, every Member of Parliament, anyone who has influence over people, to urge those who look up to you for leadership…that this Christmas ought to be a holy Christmas but a quiet Christmas. Keep your bubbles within yourself. Celebrate within your family units."
He also advised people to avoid weddings.