PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, April 2, (CMC) – The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) announced, yesterday, it may be forced to close banks, supermarkets and markets, if citizens do not adhere to the strict guidelines, of not congregating in numbers, over five, as part of the efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith, said that there were people, who spend most of their time speaking about an individual, who leaves his house to jog in an isolated environment, where there is little risk; but are less concerned about the hundreds of them cramped outside banks, supermarkets and markets.
He said this issue should be a major concern to these critics, as the spread of the virus is more likely to come from these places.
Griffith warned that if persons do not adhere to their responsibilities, as laid out by the National Security Council (NSC), he may be forced to close those banks, supermarkets and markets, adding that National Security Minister, Stuart Young, has spoken to all banks and other institutions about social distancing.
Griffith said he has asked Young, who has agreed, that these institutions place markers — in the form of a tape or chalk — outside their premises, where customers would have to stand six feet apart.
He is urging members of the public “to get in their section”, observe the markers, and only move forward, when the person in front of you moves. He says that failure of these institutions to comply could lead to the TTPS closing them.
Griffith notes that there are many elderly persons lining up outside these places, at the end of the month, and he is asking the younger persons to allow the elderly to move past them and conduct their business, quickly.
He reiterated that failure to adhere to social distancing “would be our biggest failure and this could lead to the virus being spread”.
He pointed out that d while banks and supermarkets allow a certain number of persons inside the premises, there are hundreds, on the outside, who are tightly bunched up, and that it takes just one person with the virus, outside these premises, to infect others.
Trinidad and Tobago has so far recorded five deaths and 89 positive cases of the virus.