On the second day of the two-week Stay-at-Home measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, an agro supply store in Marabella was abuzz with activity.
Owner Robin Hosein said he was contemplating closing, but given the demand for agro supplies, he may have to remain open. From Sunday midnight the government restrictions came into effect whereby only essential workers at essential businesses were to report for work. While several neighbouring businesses were closed along the Southern Main Road in Marabella yesterday, by 2.15 pm over 70 customers had already visited Robin’s Agro Solutions searching mostly for plants and seeds.
Hosein said his business falls within agriculture and is considered an essential service.
Hosein said, “For the last two weeks business has been extremely busy. It’s like Corpus Christi time so you getting people planting a lot, people planting to supply themselves, a lot of reasons people planting, to help with the kids around the house, to keep themselves occupied that kind of thing and today business is as usual. I was thinking that today is going to be very dead and I am going to stay home from today but it looks like I may have to come back out.”
He has been limiting the number of customers in his store.
“It was a problem doing that over the last couple of days because of the number of people, we try doing it but it was a bit challenging. As today cool down we limiting about two to three persons.”
Across at the bus terminal in San Fernando, the few members of the public awaiting transportation were not practising social distancing.
Commuters awaiting transportation to Point Fortin complained that they were waiting almost two hours for a bus.
Patricia Grant, who works in the Immigration Department, said she finished work and was waiting for transport to go home. “We here, the bus came up it gone to sanitize. We waiting long, we holding the strain,” said Grant.
However, she complained that a PTSC worker gave her attitude when she went to find out how long again she had to wait for the bus.
“You can’t get no maxi, you cant get no taxi and you relying on your little bus well treat people good nah.”
She said a maxi was charging $20 to $25 from San Fernando to Point Fortin.
Abdool Aleem, 70, said he left his Point Fortin home to do business at the Immigration Department and was waiting an hour and a half for the bus.
However, another commuter said they were making a fuss about nothing as after every trip the buses are sanitized and he was happy about that safety measure.
Fish vendor Kevon Chan who delivers fish from his van in the Duncan Village/Union Hall area said there has been a great demand for fish.
Before venturing out, however, he called the police station to ensure that his line of work fell within the essential category.
At Massy Superstore in La Romaine employees said since the store opened yesterday morning there was a constant flow of customers.
There were also long lines outside the commercial banks in San Fernando and Marabella.