HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said all decisions regarding the reopening of team sports and group activities remained under the purview of the Prime Minister and not the Ministry of Health.
He was speaking at the Ministry’s covid19 media conference on Saturday and addressed concerns about the potential resumption of these activities.
The concern came after various sectors have been allowed to gradually resume, while the latest request from Ascension League to resume its football tournament was blanked.
Deyalsingh said, “Measures to be implemented and to be rolled back have always been the domain and the prerogative of the Prime Minister, based on consultation with the Ministry of Health, myself, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr (Avery) Hinds who would give him the epidemiological response and report, based on the hospital capacity by Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards and what Dr (Michelle) Trotman is seeing clinically.
“The Ministry (of Health) does not make those decisions. So, for team sports, beaches, safe zones, alcohol full service, places of worship — it is always the prerogative of the PM.”
Last week Tuesday the league extensively detailed its covid19 protocols and guidelines to Deyalsingh, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe and normalisation committee chairman Douglas Camacho via a letter.
It stated the players of the ten participating teams have been fully vaccinated; vaccination for staff, coaches and patrons was mandatory and adequate proof must be provided; everyone present at the venue must wear a mask at all times and be socially distanced. Further, people who recorded a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius would not be allowed in the venue.
Deyalisngh acknowledge receipt of the letter but said due to community spread of the delta variant, no authorisation would be granted at this time but could be reviewed in the future.
On Saturday he added it was a multifaceted approach in determining the resumption or rollback of activities, and an increase in cases or hospital capacity alone was not the primary element for the government’s decisions.
“We don’t only look at one data set, we look at the whole series of data that paints a picture to us. We would look at ICU capacity, the rolling seven-day average, vaccination rates, the overall capacity of the parallel health care system, the number of variants.
“Each one of those is part of the puzzle that we put together to get the picture. Does it paint an impending problem two or three weeks down the road or something that is more relaxed?”
Since mid-march last year only two friendly matches between Trinidad and Tobago’s women’s team and Panama were held, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, on October 21 and 25.