Política

NCC must mash brakes on Carnival plan

NCC chair­man Win­ston “Gyp­sy” Pe­ters has not ful­ly dis­closed the de­tails of how they plan to pull this ac­tiv­i­ty off but af­ter meet­ing with stake­hold­ers and ex­chang­ing ideas, a ses­sion which Min­is­ter of Tourism and Cul­ture Ran­dall Mitchell at­tend­ed, Pe­ters re­mains con­vinced they can suc­cess­ful­ly stage the event

Car­ni­val stake­hold­ers are still de­bat­ing the pros and cons of a plan by the Na­tion­al Car­ni­val Com­mis­sion to host a Car­ni­val in Feb­ru­ary for ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed rev­ellers and par­tic­i­pants and in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment—as was done re­cent­ly with the Car­ni­val in Mi­a­mi.

NCC chair­man Win­ston “Gyp­sy” Pe­ters has not ful­ly dis­closed the de­tails of how they plan to pull this ac­tiv­i­ty off but af­ter meet­ing with stake­hold­ers and ex­chang­ing ideas, a ses­sion which Min­is­ter of Tourism and Cul­ture Ran­dall Mitchell at­tend­ed, Pe­ters re­mains con­vinced they can suc­cess­ful­ly stage the event.

As of yes­ter­day, how­ev­er, it was safe to say the views from with­in the fra­ter­ni­ty on a pos­i­tive out­come of such an out­ing were mixed at best. Some mem­bers of the fra­ter­ni­ty be­lieve it can be done fol­low­ing the Mi­a­mi blue­print.

To be clear, the Mi­a­mi Car­ni­val re­quired rev­ellers and pa­trons to pro­vide a neg­a­tive PCR test, to be ful­ly masked, un­der­go tem­per­a­ture checks and ob­serve sani­ti­sa­tion and oth­er health pro­to­cols while at­tend­ing the events, which were al­so held at su­per­vised venues. Fur­ther­more, the Mi­a­mi Broward Car­ni­val com­mit­tee catered for 500,000 peo­ple par­tak­ing in the fes­tiv­i­ties from Oc­to­ber 8-10. This, of course, did not take in­to con­sid­er­a­tion the scores of pri­vate par­ties and oth­er events which were or­gan­ised around the of­fi­cial events to cater to the Car­ni­val lovers who chose oth­er event op­tions.

In re­al­i­ty, the Mi­a­mi or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, al­ready thwart­ed by state leg­is­la­tion which out­lawed forc­ing per­sons to show proof of vac­ci­na­tion, was al­so un­able to con­trol rev­ellers once they hit the Mi­a­mi-Dade Coun­ty Fair and Ex­po­si­tion ground and, with al­co­hol flow­ing, the mask-wear­ing plan com­plete­ly fell apart with­in a few hours.

This is where we switch to the oth­er stake­hold­ers who feel the NCC should mash the breaks on a Feb­ru­ary event and look at a date lat­er on next year, when they hope T&T will be in a bet­ter place as far as con­trol­ling the spread of the Delta vari­ant is con­cerned.

In­deed, the lat­est sta­tis­tics from the Min­istry of Health yes­ter­day sug­gest bet­ter sense should pre­vail on this mat­ter. An­oth­er 21 cit­i­zens lost their lives as T&T raced to­wards 2,000 COVID-re­lat­ed deaths, while there were 682 new cas­es of the virus. Fur­ther­more, there were more sce­nar­ios of cit­i­zens throw­ing cau­tion to the wind re­gard­ing up­hold­ing pro­to­cols in pub­lic spaces, as they ex­pressed them­selves with a State of Emer­gency-im­posed cur­few no longer keep­ing them in­doors at night.

This type of be­hav­iour has led Min­is­ter of Health Ter­rence Deyals­ingh to again warn cit­i­zens to be on their guard to pre­vent the virus from over­run­ning the coun­try, es­pe­cial­ly with the fes­tive Christ­mas sea­son, when per­sons con­gre­gate in close set­tings more than usu­al, up­on us.

The na­tion’s ICU and HDU units are cur­rent­ly burst­ing at the seams with COVID pa­tients, with too many of them los­ing that bat­tle. Mean­while, over 600,000 cit­i­zens have still not ac­cessed vac­cines to give them­selves a bet­ter chance of sur­viv­ing an at­tack — in ef­fect still putting those who are in­oc­u­lat­ed in dan­ger. Truth be told, it is on­ly when cit­i­zens ex­hib­it the dis­ci­pline and make the choic­es nec­es­sary to win this fight will we be able to dis­cuss a Car­ni­val as pro­posed. We are not there yet.