Imagine locating a mega-storage facility for dead covid-19 patients in your area, without a word of consultation or notice from the Government! This is the position that the residents of Beaucarro Road, Freeport, found themselves in, in December 2021.
After sustained protest, Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh is claiming victory in his fight against the Ministry of Health’s plan to open the facility in early January.
On December 18, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram indicated the ministry’s interest in setting up a large storage facility for covid19 fatalities as morgues were running out of space.
But when residents of Beaucarro Road Lead by Siewdath Bahal learned that an unfinished warehouse along the road was the planned site, they immediately rejected the idea.
On December 23, residents met with Indarsingh to voice their concerns and even warned the ministry they would form a human barricade in front of the warehouse to ensure it couldn’t be used.
Residents also started a petition led by Siewdath Bahal to demand the health authorities meet with them.
But on December 27th 2021, Indarsingh met with residents again and claimed plans for the facility had been scrapped.
MP Indarsingh indicated he was briefed on the decision in a phone call with president of the Association of Funeral Home Professionals of Trinidad and Tobago Keith Belgrove.
MP Indarsingh said while Belgrove’s decision was welcome, there should never have been plans to open the facility in any residential area.
He explained, “I received a phone call from Mr. Keith Belgrove closer to 1 pm this (Monday 27th December 2021) afternoon.
“He said that good sense had prevailed and we have taken the decision – I do not know who is the ‘we’ – that the morgue to house covid19-deceased individuals will no longer be in the community of Beaucarro.”
“He (Belgrove) said they listened to the concerns of the community.”
“MP Indarsingh told him that in the future, do not cause this pain, trauma, anxiety and fear to any community in the other 40 constituencies.”
Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh said he was “happy to see good sense prevail” and that the scrapping of the site was “victory for the people”.