Shastri Boodan

There was very little social distancing at the Chaguanas Market yesterday where many of the vendors resorted to selling in the aisles and to be constantly chased by municipal police officers.

The situation was blamed on the failure by the Chaguanas Borough Corporation to put in place a system to control flow of customers

On Friday, Mayor Faaiq Mohammed announced that the market would be opened throughout the week between the hours of 5.01 am to 2 pm to facilitate daily sanitation exercises. He said that the municipal police would monitor shoppers to ensure social distancing.

Mohammed said: “At this time, we are not of the view that it is necessary to reduce days of operation of the market as a reduction of days will result in more buyers rushing on the days the market is open which would encourage gathering and the spread of the virus will be more prevalent.

“This is diametrically opposed to what we are trying to achieve in terms of mitigating cases of COVID-19.”

Mohammed said a special team will be established to sanitize the market regularly and to monitor the entrances and exits during hours of operation.

“They will ensure that customers sanitize and wash their hands before entering the market. Finally, steps are being taken to ensure the installation of additional sinks in the market for washing of hands. We reiterate the need for personal responsibility and ask customers of the market to complete their shopping in a timely manner.

“If all guidelines are followed, we are confident we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Chaguanas and by extension, Trinidad & Tobago.”