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A Port-of-Spain City Corporation worker sanitises the Central Market yesterday. The regional corporations have now been given the task of distributing face masks to the public to protect against COVID-19.

The Disaster Management Units (DMUs) of the various regional corporations are assisting the Health Ministry in the distribution of face masks in all municipalities to help curb COVID-19 spread.

And as the long Easter holiday weekend approaches, there’ll be increased municipal police patrols across all beaches and rivers, plus recreation grounds, markets, abattoirs, cemeteries and cremation sites to ensure the law is obeyed and gatherings are discouraged under anti-COVID-19 measures.

This was announced by the Local Government Ministry yesterday. This followed Government’s recent recommendation for members of the public to wear face coverings to prevent COVID-19 spread and tightened restrictions on public gatherings. Public gatherings have been cut from 10 to five people to prevent virus spread.

The Local Government Ministry said the DMUs have also already collected food hampers from the Social Development Ministry for distribution to families in need throughout all municipalities The units are also facilitating public service announcements in all electoral districts in Trinidad to keep citizens informed of best practices and latest developments.

The ministry has also advised all municipal corporations to do the following:

* Disseminate all notices regarding COVID-19 from official Government channels and health authorities to burgesses using appropriate communication channels such as mobile public address systems, social media and flyers.

* Conduct information/sensitisation sessions with all vendors, via Public Health Departments

* Increase frequency of sanitisation exercises

* Where possible, install hand sanitiser dispensers or install handwashing stations

* Prioritise truck-borne water/water trucking deliveries to vulnerable burgesses, especially in rural communities

* Engage existing volunteer networks to garner the support of all stakeholders, including corporate citizens (business associations and chambers of commerce) in support of persons in need and those being affected by the economic slowdown.

The ministry has also advised burgesses to contact their Public Health Units for information and advice as the current situation evolves.