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National Assembly

COVID-19 |18 March 2020

Assembly leaders urge public not to panic and stop stigmatising and disrespecting patients and public health authorities


Leaders of the two parties in the National Assembly yesterday pronounced themselves on the COVID-19 pandemic, urging the public to follow advisory guidelines and calling for the country to unite and stand in solidarity at this dark time.

Leader of government business Charles De Comarmond implored for citizens to stop spreading propaganda on social media platforms and instil panic in the masses, and to remain respectful towards all those whose lives are on the line as they work to combat a virus which has taken the whole world by surprise.

“The true strength of a nation is tested when they face difficult and critical situations. Since the confirmation of the cases here, our nation is naturally worried, is reacting and trying to adapt to this new reality. I would like to also appeal to every citizen and politician to support the national team by affording them the space to conduct their work professionally. Let us listen to what science is telling us and let us follow the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Let us not waste their times and let them work, towards a solution for us,” he started.

Hon. De Comarmond also called for a stop to stigmatisation of the persons confirmed to have the virus, as the “virus has no boundaries, nationalities, ethnicity and definitely no political colour”, ending his statement by imploring everyone to remain calm and trusting our healthcare system, health professionals and leaders in the country.

Leader of the opposition, Wavel Ramkalawan, echoed similar sentiments, calling for national unity in the national interest and for collective efforts for the country to emerge victorious against the pandemic.

He too saluted the efforts of health professionals and all others on the front line, who have for weeks been working tirelessly to contain the propagation of the virus.

“We have seen on their faces fatigue and pressure. We know that they are giving their best, even if sometimes they face a lack of resources and challenges,” Mr Ramkalawan said, referring to health professionals and others on the frontline.

Mr Ramkalawan further applauded efforts and decisions to close off borders to certain countries most affected by the virus, noting the need for prompt communication by authorities, to keep the public abreast of the latest developments, so as not to instil panic.


Laura Pillay




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