AS long lines of those eager to get the covid19 vaccine continued at health facilities throughout the country, one good Samaritan in south Trinidad opted to loan chairs and tents to make them more comfortable.
Friday was the second day of the Health Ministry’s alphabetical-order system for those 60 and over to get vaccinated.
This followed chaos around the country on Wednesday when walk-in vaccinations were publicised.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh apologised to the country but thanked the public for its high vaccine acceptance.
When Newsday visited the Ste Madeleine Health Centre around 8.15 am, there was a long line of people – with the first woman in the line having been there since around 5 am.
It was the second day she had shown up to try to get the vaccine, among several others.
But the crowd was in luck, as Shane Mahabirsingh, owner of Bilda Boyz Construction Services Ltd, provided plastic chairs free of charge at different health facilities. He said he could not bear to see senior citizens have to stand for such a long time again.
Each chair was sanitised before someone sat on it and company staff also provided hand sanitiser for those waiting.
Mahabirsingh had already distributed chairs at the Gasparillo Health Facility and said he was going to the Marabella centre next.
“As long as we have chairs remaining, we will go to more places,” he said. “I’m trying to get the public to assist a little bit…We need tents, we need chairs, water, sanitiser…
“I took it upon myself to rent these chairs and the tents, which is out of my pocket. I can’t keep doing this every day, so I would really appreciate if the people in the community would be able to donate and assist. These are elderly people, these are people over 60…I shouldn’t have to be doing this.”
He said he is not going to sit idly by in hopes the government does something similar when he can take the initiative.
“These are the elders, the ones who were here before us and this is how we treating them? These are our people.”
Several of those in line told Newsday they were extremely heartened by the act of kindness.
There were also lines at the Marabella, La Romaine and Point Fortin Health Facilities.