A dozen Ramish and Leela Supermarket Limited staff members who have been tested COVID-19 after possibly coming into contact with one of the country’s latest patients have been told to stay home although the business re-opens on Saturday.
The supermarket’s director of operations Yunus Ibrahim confirmed on Friday that the workers will stay home pending results and notification from the Ministry of Health, as precautionary measures continue to be taken with contact tracing for case 139 still ongoing.
“The 12 frontline staff, I gave them a whole list of staff, but they determined who were frontline and who had to be tested,” said Ibrahim, who explained the ministry assessed which staff members had the highest possibility of interacting with the patient.
The supermarket was ordered closed for sanitisation on Thursday after it was learnt that the COVID-19 patient, an elderly woman, had visited the business. They were cleared to re-open today after two days of sanitisation, including the use electro-static technology which was undertaken at the grocery along Eastern Main Road, San Juan, yesterday.
Electrostatic spraying, Guardian Media was informed, positively charges the chemical with an electrical current, which causes it to wrap around and cling to all neutral surfaces, allowing the chemical to be more effective in killing the virus wherever it may contaminate.
Ibrahim said prior to the order to close on Thursday, staff had been following all necessary protocols to avoid any potential spread and they will continue to do so when they re-open today.
“Nobody shops with a mask and my counters and shelves have been consistently wiped,” said Ibrahim, who said he understood necessary precautions had to be taken.
He added, however, that if customers followed the guidelines of washing hands and wearing masks, potential contraction of the virus would be reduced.
Several other businesses in San Juan and Aranguez also closed for sanitisation to be done after being contacted by the ministry.
Pennywise branches on Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain and Long Circular Mall, St James respectively were also closed on Wednesday for sanitisation after contact tracing was done for patient 139.