Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley announced that on Wednesday November 17th, 2021, the Parliament will meet and the State of Emergency will be discontinued.
Prime Minister Rowley said by eliminating the State of Emergency, the Police Service will have some relief, but officers will continue to enforce the laws and regulations.
The Prime Minister also made the following announcements:
- The Public Health Ordinance will continue to be enforced, including mask-wearing.
- Public pools can now be used by vaccinated persons ONLY as Safe Zones.
- Public Gatherings will remain at 10.
- Public fetes and parties in all their forms remain prohibited.
- Bars, restaurants, cinemas, casinos will continue to offer full service, including alcohol, at a capacity of 50%.
- Alcohol consumption in a public place remains prohibited.
- The border arrangements will remain in place.
- Public transportation will remain at 75% capacity.
- Schools will continue.
- Religious services will remain at 90 minutes but now at 50% capacity in an indoor setting. This applies to christenings, weddings, and funerals. Gravesites will now be limited to 25 persons.
- Non-religious indoor events will be at 50% capacity.
PM Rowley said reopening the beaches and competitive sports cannot happen at this time. However, he would like to reopen the beaches before Christmas with some restrictions in place (e.g., morning period only).
On persons making their homes “party zones” on a nightly basis, the Prime Minister urged these people to “understand we are in a desperate situation. Don’t let it become more desperate and then look for somebody to blame.”
The Prime Minister dismissed calls for a Commission of Enquiry on the response to COVID-19. He noted that developed countries are now facing a 4th wave of the virus.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has “more or less stalled.”
The Health Minister confirmed having a meeting with doctors in all Regional Health Authorities yesterday, and noted that medical personal are “burnt out” and “fed up.” He stated that some private sector doctors are treating people with COVID-19 symptoms with Ivermectin, antibiotics, alternative medicine, and home oxygen but when these treatments prove futile, these sick patients eventually come into the hospital system in a worse state, requiring serious care.
Principal Medical Officer – Institutions, Dr. Maryam Abdool-Richards, said people are contacting the ambulance service too late and on arrival, have to go on a ventilator immediately. She stated that this morning, there were 47 patients awaiting transfer into the parallel health care system. Of these 47, 11 need ICU-level care and are not fully vaccinated.
Dr. Abdool-Richards confirmed there are five children in the parallel health care system. Of these five children, three are in the ICU.