Minister Kazim Hosein (shirt and tie) with Municipal Police commanders, in this pre-COVID-19 photo from February 2020. (Image courtesy Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government)

The Minister of Rural Development and Local Government has given assurances that cemeteries across the country will be well patrolled and kept safe by Municipal Police Officers, for this year’s observances of All Saints and All Souls.

In an official statement released today, Senator Kazim Hosein says officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Municipal Police Service will be deployed across all public cemeteries to ensure adherence to the COVID-19 public health regulations, implemented by the Ministry of Health.

“Citizens can feel a sense of comfort and security knowing that Municipal Police Officers will be out in full force for All Saints and All Souls observances,” Minister Hosein said.

He added: “All Saints and All Souls Day are days that are very dear to us all. It is a time that we visit the graves of our loved ones who have passed away and even light candles and offer prayers. For me, this is a very special occasion as I visit my father’s resting place and pay homage to his life.”

He also encourages members of the public to follow the guidelines stipulated by the Public Health Ordinance.

“While we would want to perform certain rituals, we must exercise caution in light of the global pandemic,” the Minister advised.

“I am urging all citizens who will be participating in these observances to adhere to the public health guidelines by wearing your masks, maintaining social distancing, and limiting gatherings to only 10 persons, as advised by the Ministry of Health,” he said. “It is important that we continue to play our part in this fight against COVID-19, for our safety and that of our loved ones.”

And Assistant Commissioner of Municipal Police, Surrendra Sagramsingh, confirms the Municipal Police patrols will be effect.

“I have maintained constant communication with the 14 Commanders from the Municipal Corporations, and Municipal Police will be patrolling all public cemeteries where persons would usually gather for All Saints and All Souls Day to ensure that best practices are being observed as it relates to mask wearing and in particular, congregating or social gatherings,” he said.

“We are here to ensure the safety and comfort of all citizens as evidenced by our increased efforts in response to the ongoing pandemic,” Commissioner Sagramsingh added.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church also is urging citizens to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations, in a release issued by CAMSEL (Catholic Media Services Limited) today.

The CAMSEL advisory said: “In adherence to the government’s continued efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the number of persons congregating in public space to ten (10), the Archdiocese of Port of Spain is encouraging the faithful to visit cemeteries at various times throughout All Souls’ Day, November 2, as well as on other alternative days in November. This advisory is to avoid a large volume of traffic at cemeteries which would exceed the maximum for public gatherings at this time.”