Since March 13 when schools were shut down due to the discovery of the first positive COVID-19 case, citizens of T&T have looked towards our government for sound leadership during this life- altering and daunting period. Although we sympathise with those affected and mourn the eight lives lost, we cannot help but acknowledge the success of those in charge in preventing a catastrophic first wave of outbreaks. I applaud the healthcare workers who have served tirelessly during this difficult time.
Fortunately, we have a Prime Minister who recognises the authority held by health professionals in this regard and attributes the success to a detailed and meticulous scientific approach based on evidence such as the benefits of social distancing and wearing of face masks.
According to Dr Keith Rowley, “We had within T&T, a population of public servants and their associates who were able to give us the appropriate advice and the government took the position that we will make our decisions based on the science and trust the professionalism of our healthcare professionals, and I must say it has worked very well for us. The government would continue to make decisions based on the science.”
Seeing the success of allowing science to lead the COVID-19 Action Plan, the government would do well to let scientists and experts lead in confronting the other key challenges facing the country. These include worsening effects of climate change and issues concerning economic diversification.
If the government extends their trust in science to professionals battling these other challenges, successful action plans will be developed for all areas: from stimulating local production, to increasing support for local farmers and improving management of our natural, economically viable resources.
This will be a beneficial approach in leading T&T’s thrust towards economic diversification and greater financial independence.