Will proposed safe zones truly provide safety?

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“The economy should be reopened without “safe zones”, which are discriminatory! You can’t force people to vaccinate and you can’t discriminate against them. Allow them to practice the three W’s.” The Public Services Association (PSA), represented by, Second Vice President, Avinash Maharajh, stated that “safe zones” were reminiscent of racial segregation in the U.S. and apartheid in South Africa but this time using vaccines.

In a bid to reopen business sectors that have been closed for far too long, the Government had recently proposed “safe zones”, where they would allow outdoor activities, such as indoor dining, gyms, casinos, and cinemas, for fully vaccinated persons. However, with six confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Trinidad, the big question is, “will safe zones really act as a safe space?”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant is affecting fully vaccinated persons just as much as it is affecting unvaccinated persons. The reports stated that fully vaccinated persons are also carriers of the virus, so they too can spread the virus to others. According to the CDC, the Delta variant also seems to produce the same high amount of virus in both unvaccinated and vaccinated people.

SVP Maharajh stated that the State of Emergency and continued lockdown was prolonged for far too long. He shared that reopening the country with the proposed ‘safe zones’ for only the vaccinated was highly discriminatory and should not be allowed. In a recent phone interview, Chief Education and Research Officer, Ozzi Warwick, following a ‘Freedom March’ demonstrated by the Labour Movement stated that the Government was using the SoE to restructure the State, where there would be increased privatization and minimal contributions by state organizations. He stated that it was the Government’s sinister plan to revert to a system before the 1970s, where privatization was at an all-time high and the state contributed minimally to society. He alluded that such a system would only further financially cripple the poor.