In 2014 there were fears that a deadly Ebola virus which had killed 4500 people in West Africa was threatening to postpone the 2015 Carnival, but luckily it never reached Trinidad and Tobago.
The then Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said there was no need to cancel Carnival 2015 because of the threat of the Ebola virus. However, he did not rule out the possibility that this could change if the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) declared otherwise.
He said at the time that a four-bed isolation unit at the Caura Hospital was set up to deal with any suspected cases Two rooms at the Piarco International Airport were upgraded as containment units to deal with travellers suspected of carrying the virus. But no passengers were found to be carrying the virus and Carnival went ahead as planned.
This time again with the threat of the coronavirus virus, health authorities are putting similar measures in place in the event there is any passenger arriving here for Carnival with symptoms of fever.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said currently screening of the virus is taking place at Piarco International Airport both on flights as well as on passengers.
He said captains of aircraft are to advise if anybody falls ill on the aircraft with fever or any other illness.
Deyalsingh said when passengers disembark from North America, Panama, and the United Kingdom they undergo thermal scanning with handheld scanners at the arrival hall.
He explained that these scanners are placed on the walls and can scan a crowd.
The virus has so far killed 80 people worldwide and close to l00,000 persons so far have infected the disease.
But Deyalsingh noted that the thermal screenings at any airport is not 100 percent foolproof because the virus has what is called an incubation period, the length of time between contracting the virus and showing symptoms.
NCC Chairman Winston Peters is hoping that the deadly virus, which is spread from human to human, would not continue an upward trend, as this could scare visitors from coming to the country for the Carnival.
Health officials worldwide are working to contain the virus which has spread to several countries in a matter of days.
Cases were confirmed in a number of other countries including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the United States, France, Australia and Canada.
There are many problems facing the country but people are talking about the China killer virus, Carnival fetes and crime.
Ramsingh and his rum posse, Balkie, Dougla, Rasta have started to party at Corky’s bar for the Carnival.
Dougla: “Barman yuh gone to any ah dem fete fuh d Carnival as yet. Yuh eh see dem kind ah prices dem promoters charging and people still paying to go and fete. Yuh know there is ah saying dat Trinis have ah Carnival mentality.”
Barman: “While dem partygoers wining down d place, dem promoters laughing all d way to d bank. Ent some people does say we in ah recession and dey eh have no money to spend.”
Rasta: “When it comes to Carnival, people like to play mas and fete. Dey does even go and borrow money from d bank or credit union to buy dem expensive costumes. It have some ah dem does start saving dey money fuh d next year Carnival from d time dis one done.”
Rasmsingh: “Yuh know it have some owman who just wait fuh Carnival to wine down d place in dem half naked costume. Yuh know dat is fun for dem to jam and wine and show dey naked bam bam.”
Balkie: “Allyuh talking bout Carnival. Yuh eh see it have ah Chinese killer virus spreading in some countries around d world and even America. Yuh know there is ah saying dat if d United States sneeze we does ketch d cold here. Deyalsingh say he ent cancelling no Carnival over d virus.”
Dougla: “As yuh talk bout dis Chinee virus, yuh remember long ago it had some men used to buy something call Chinaman fuh dey not to come quick. Ah hear Pink Panther singing ah calypso how some owman wanted him to come, quick, quick. Dat is d name ah d calypso, Quick, Quick, Quick. Ent dey say stories are told through calypso.”
Ramsingh: “Allyuh eh taking bout how d President say how the people hurting and she want d Government and d Opposition to listen to we. She should say how plenty ah we suffering under did PNM government. D President doh mince words, nah. She doh fraid to
Barman: “Yuh eh hear she say while dem leaders talking bout dis country being ah failed state, or in a crime crisis, citizens are being murdered at an alarming rate, people losing their jobs and how food prices are high. She right, it look like Rowley and Imbert doh go in d grocery or d market. Is poor people who have to face d music while dey eating lobster and drinking champagne and expensive scotch and wine”.
Ramsingh: “Yuh eh hear Rowley say dis might be his last election. He must be get ah vision dat d PNM go lost dis general election. He say d election is not bout giving out food cards. But yuh eh see dey start giving out food cards soon so we cyar say it is ah election gimmick. Yuh eh see dey start paving roads dat is when yuh know ah election coming. Ask Black Stalin”.
Barman: “D only thing ah feel Rowley could run good is ah pig farm.”
Until next week!