A customer purchases doubles at Nirmal's Doubles along the M1 Ring Road, Golconda. (Image: KRISTIAN DE SILVA)
RADHICA DE SILVA
[email protected]

Street vendors say they will survive despite the shutting down of all food outlets by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Speaking to Guardian Media before the Prime Minister issued the ban, fruit vendor Rudy Seeraj said most vendors were accustomed to hard times.

“It’s the people who go fine dining and mall shopping who will suffer. If we are shut down we could still go in the garden and bubble a pot,” Seeraj said.

Along the Manahambre Road in Ste Madeleine, people were seen buying doubles and pies before the Prime Minister’s announcement.

Some defended their decision saying that they have no time to cook.

Marlon Carrington said he usually brings food to work but he ran out of time to prepare breakfast so on his way to work he decided to buy doubles.

Kimo Herbert said, ” I wake up late today so I decide to buy something. Not everybody has the time to cook.”

At the popular Debe doubles strip, there were minimal lines before the Prime Minister’s announcement.

Radica Arjoonsingh of Port-of-Spain said she had a death in her family and while on her way to see relatives she stopped for doubles.

“We are socially distanced and wearing our mask. There are no long lines so I don’t think it’s a risk,” Arjoonsingh said.

Fruit vendor Rudy Seeraj peels oranges at Ste Madeleine, prior to the Prime Minister’s announcement. (Image: KRISTIAN DE SILVA)

Raphael Paul who sat eating doubles in his car echoed similar sentiments.

“As long as we are socially distanced and wearing masks, it’s OK,” he said.

Doubles vendor Jonathan Ramlakhan of Nirmal’s Doubles said sales had been decreasing since the announcement of a partial shutdown by the Prime Minister last week.

“The majority of people are out of jobs so they have no money to buy food, so sales have been decreasing since the pandemic,” Ramlakhan said.

He added that many people stop to get doubles for breakfast or dinner because it was reasonably priced.

He said those who make purchases are the ones who work and have no time to prepare meals.

Margaret Maharaj, who was seen waiting to buy doubles said she usually cooked but decided to buy doubles yesterday because there were no long lines.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement banning the opening of restaurants last week Thursday, there have been long lines at many street food outlets. Some restaurants even opened street side stalls which created long lines. The Prime Minister has warned all citizens to stop converging for food saying citizens should stay indoors as much as possible and only venture outside in cases of emergencies.