Two Ministers of Government will not be present in the House of Parliament for debate on the 2022 budget this week having tested positive for the coronavirus.
Minister of Education, Curtis King and Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar are therefore required to be in isolation for seven days, after which they will take a second PCR test.
Caesar said he received information on his positive test on Sunday morning, although he had travelled to Palm Island with a negative test ahead of the wedding of Tourism Minister, Carlos James. He confirmed that he took the mandatory COVID-19 test as part of the protocols to attend this week’s sitting of Parliament for the 2022 budget exercise which began yesterday, January 10.
Caesar said that he will conduct meetings virtually and by telephone as the work of the people and the government must continue.
In a post on his Facebook page on Monday, Caesar said “For the first time in 14 years, I am missing the sitting of Parliament for the Budget Debates, because I tested positive for COVID-19. I wish all my parliamentary colleagues the best as they present on matters of the State.
“I followed the protocols, but, Omicron is extremely contagious. I am fully vaccinated and I am confident that it will keep me out of the hospital. I humbly ask for your prayers during this time. I will keep you posted on my progress.
“In the meantime, if you have not already, I do urge you to get vaccinated because for this Omicron, it seems that while the vaccine does not prevent you from catching it, it prevents you from getting seriously ill. I will continue to find comfort in Nehemiah 8:10 – ‘the joy of the Lord is my strength’.”
To all in quarantine, ‘Keep Strong’!”
Minister King, who also received information of his positive test over the weekend, is also confident that he will be able to carry on his work as far as possible.
A post on the WSG (West St George) Campaign Team chat on Sunday stated : “comrades my COVID-19 test returned a positive result. It was taken yesterday evening on Palm Island. I have to isolate for the next seven days after which I am to take a second test. I have no symptoms except for a cough now and again. I am ok otherwise”.
King and his wife were among guests attending the tourism minister’s wedding on Palm Island which has PCR testing facilities.
Both ministers were not sure as of Monday about their scheduled budget presentations to parliament but King said while he, “ Cannot speak to that issue right now, we are exploring the options available.”
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has stated that he is negative but will take an antigen test every morning as a precaution.