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Alderman Dinesh Sankersingh, Chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation

Some workers are being sent home as business places close to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Siparia Regional Corporation expects so see an increase in the number of vendors.

Chairman of the corporation Alderman Dinesh Sankersingh, told Guardian Media that vending is seen as a solution and not a problem once it is done within the confines of the law.

Speaking at his High Street office, Sankersingh said the area saw an increase of vendors when Petrotrin folded its operations last year. He said the corporation was trying to create more market space for vendors.

When asked if the Municipal Police were removing vendors from the streets, he said the police were simply trying to have persons comply with the law. However Sankersingh said changing economic times would see the corporation having to make adjustments to make more spaces available for vendors so people can earn a living.

He said Siparia was severely hit by the closure of Petrotrin that have shoved many people on the breadline.

“We are trying to source hampers and resources for those who are severely affected, the aged and those who are shut-in and cannot go out.”

Sankersingh said the Siparia Fest and the annual La Divina Pastora or Sipari Ki Mai celebrations have been cancelled because of COVID-19.

He said the corporation has heard reports that migrants from Venezuela are still entering T&T through gaps in the border and he wants those coming in to be screened for the virus so that the authorities can better deal with this problem.