Editorials

Be honest and sincere

There is deep suspicion in the society about the believability and honesty of some of the leaders now in the forefront of the fight on the home front against the coronavirus.

THE NEW TODAY can point to the many mixed signals being sent out by our health officials as Grenada tries to battle COVID-19.

The most telling incident relate to the positive COVID-19 patient who should have been in isolation but managed to escape from his place of quarantine and passed through the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) undetected and boarded an Air Canada flight to Canada and then catch another plane to return to the United Kingdom in the company of two other family members.

There are reports that some of those tested positive for COVID-19 have travelled extensively inland and as such people at the community level are living in fear since they do not know who in their areas might have interacted with those stricken by the virus.

This newspaper quite frankly and rightfully so can understand the fear, anxiety and panic in the country because it brings to the forefront the serious question – who is really to be trusted around them?

In this small global village that we are now living in the flow of information across borders is leaving some governments very embarrassed.

The people of Grenada are able to get first hand information in a matter of seconds how the authorities in some of the other neighbouring islands are tackling the coronavirus problem.

Real time information is flowing from these governments on the amount of persons who are tested for the virus, as well as the numbers that are in isolation and in quarantine and in some cases the location of the places where people are confined and restricted.

In Grenada, there is not only a vast disparity in the numbers but the people in the Spice Isle are kept in the total dark on vital information on how many persons are in isolation and quarantine.

Is this good enough? Why would the government expect people in Grenada to have confidence in the system when there appears to be a deliberate attempt not to share certain vital information with them?

Grenadians are just told several households are now affected. What does that mean? Mr. Steele has told the nation that vigorous and rigorous monitoring is taking place in the fight against COVID-19. Really? Is that true when an affected person can slip through the airport undetected?

There is also a noticeable difference when it comes to the flow of information from the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) as it relates to the amount of people being arrested for violating the curfew and the type of charges being laid against them.

Is it a case of the powers-that-be trying to send a clear signal that they are more interested in using the police to keep the people in check as opposed to giving out information like what has been alluded to above such as the testing and isolation issues?

The current government should not believe that its two back-to-back 15-0 victory against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in general elections means that the people are prepared to believe everything that comes out from officialdom.

The virus is not looking for yellow to destroy them and giving a thumbs-up to green and leaving them safe from destruction.

It’s a case of each and every Grenadian having to do what is right and necessary for their own survival and those who fail to adhere to the principle of “Social Distancing” are leaving themselves vulnerable to the virus.

Regardless of colour, the people on the island are not foolish and know that some COVID-19 patients had exposed a number of persons in Grenada as a result of their unfortunate behaviour.

The powers-that-be are also contributing to this fear factor by the relatively low testing numbers when compared to other neighbouring islands like Dominica, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad, Barbados and St. Kitts/Nevis.

The ratio is quite frightening for Grenada: 12 positive cases from 45 tests; St Kitts, 10 cases from 149 tests; and Dominica 14 cases from 255 tests.

Even the Prime Minister raised the hopes of the people when he announced that Grenadians will be seeing lower costs in their electricity bills as part of the stimulus package unveiled due to COVID-19.

It was welcomed by many but days later Trade Minister Oliver Joseph was forced to publicly admit that this is not the case yet as government is not in control of Grenlec and was only involved in negotiations with the company on the issue.

THE NEW TODAY found this a rather strange announcement from the Prime Minister in light of the fact that his government had just suffered a massive loss and blow in the Grenlec arbitration matter with the U.S company WRB Enterprises, the majority shareholder of the electricity company.

The government leaders are constantly advocating the need for “Social Distancing” but are not seemingly enforcing the guidelines in light of the type of gatherings seen at Deco Service Centre at Tempe and some of the supermarkets and grocery shops on designated shopping days.

This newspaper is hopeful that the horse is still within the stable and has not bolted yet and that the powers-that-be really needs to act quickly in a very sensible manner to close the door fast as the virus is proving to be very deadly.

A warning to our leader: Please remember, the people are aware of what is happening and are not being fooled.

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