Caricom meets on covid19

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Caricom meets on covid19
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Photo by Marvin Hamilton
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Photo by Marvin Hamilton

(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – The Prime Minister of Trinidad will join his regional counterparts in an emergency Caricom heads of government meeting on Wednesday to address the regional fight against the spread of the covid19 pandemic.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the current Caricom chairman, announced that the meeting will take place online, in keeping with the social distancing protocols for covid19.

In a statement ahead of the meeting, Mottley said one of the objectives was “not just about saving lives but also sustaining livelihoods”. She said Caricom leaders will share their experiences in combatting the pandemic in their own jurisdictions.

Mottley said, “ We may probably have to have a common public health protocol and common border policy.”

She added, “What it does is that it expands the market of people who then can help sustain each other far wider than it was at the beginning of this address.”

Mottley said through this meeting, regional leaders will examine “whether this is not the moment where Caricom’s true promise is upon us.” She said leaders will look “at those things that we need to do in order truly to allow our sovereign boundaries to have a virtual reality that is a Caricom entity, a Caribbean community while the legal sovereign boundaries remain what we know.”

In a statement in the House of Representatives on March 13, Dr Rowley said Government provided assistance for testing through the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) “using our resources to get the samples to CARPHA for other Caricom countries.”

Rowley also said Caricom leaders discussed covid19 and its effects when they met in Barbados on February 18 and 19. “We discussed it as a region.”

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