Another possible case of local transmission of the coronavirus has forced the closure of two Pennywise Cosmetics branches.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rosham Parasram said it was the first such case in eighty days and it was a “concerning development.”

The CMO’s concern was linked to the person’s activity over the last week. At the Ministry of Health press briefing on Wednesday 22nd July, 2020, he said “in this particular instance, the person would have been ill for more than a week, having signs and symptoms and would not have restricted themselves to movement within their homes.”

That person’s failure to adhere to the public health regulations saw the closure of Pennywise’s Charlotte Street and Long Circular Mall branches on Wednesday. While the CMO had initially stated that a branch of First Citizens would be closed, the Health Minister later indicated that the person only used the ATM at the branch and therefore the branch would not be closed.

“The person has been ill for a week and has moved about as normal. One of the primary contacts would have interacted with Pennywise,” he said.

Parasram said “the closure is for sanitization.” He said they will also do “line listing” of the staff, as well as testing necessary for primary, secondary and tertiary contacts.  

The CMO again appealed to citizens saying the public health measures are still relevant and extremely important.

In a statement to its Facebook page, Pennywise Cosmetics confirmed that it was informed by the Ministry of Health that in its contact tracing of a person with Covid 19, “a contact of theirs, who is still unconfirmed for the virus, had possibly visited our Charlotte Street and Long Circular Mall branches, as well as several other business places which will also be contacted.”

“Dr Avery Hinds, Technical Director in the Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health, has indicated that there is a “relatively low risk” that anyone at our stores has been infected but the Ministry is taking all precautions to ensure that thorough contact tracing and testing is done. As a result, all of our staff members are being tested and the store will be thoroughly sanitized before reopening. We have no further information and we are fully cooperating with the Ministry for the safety of all involved.

Reporter: Khamal Georges