Dr. Roshan Parasram

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram

SOME downtown Port of Spain food outlets are expressing concern over yesterday’s revelation of what could be T&T’s first community-spread case of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This after the Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram confirmed that one of the primary contacts of a person who tested positive had recently visited the Long Circular Mall and Charlotte Street branches of Pennywise and First Citizens Bank in San Juan, recently.

Commenting on the development, a supervisor of Mario’s Pizza on Independence Square in Port of Spain, who wished not to be named, said the news is alarming and she said more information should be shared with the public about this positive case.

She said: “We need more information as to if the person would have visited any food places or other businesses in Port of Spain, because this virus is very serious. We are ensuring that everyone continues to wear their mask and adhere to the social distancing at Mario’s Pizza.”

Over at D’Avenue Sport Bar and Lounge co-owner Johnny Thompson said this case of the first possible community spread should make some citizens more responsible and wear their masks at all times along with sanitizing frequently.

“People need to take Covid seriously as it is still very active and this country is not in the clear. Everyone needs to do their part in order to keep the numbers at bay. I ensure that all the Covid protocols are carried out at all times and when the establishment reaches 25 persons, the security closes the door. You cannot be caught off guard at any time.”

And, one of Church’s Chicken floor manager’s who also did not want to be named said more contact tracing needs to be done as it is not known if the primary contact of the woman who tested positive could have visited any of the food outlets in town and environs.

“We are ensuring that all customers who enter the doors are wearing their masks and sanitise before coming to the counters. The management also ensures that the staff are following all the relevant protocols at all times,” the floor manager said.

Business groups on the issue

The Health Ministry and the Chief Medical Officer came in for high praise from the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association president, Gregory Aboud, who commended them for the quick contact tracing that was put in place to help control the spread.

Aboud said while he did not receive concerning calls about the Pennywise closure from downtown businesses, he is urging all owners to be on the alert and to ensure that the protocols are at no time relaxed.

And, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Reyaz Ahamad said while their business membership have not raised immediate concerns over the issue, one has to be on guard 24/7 and keep following all the guidelines.

Ahamad noted that Pennywise and FCB are strong reputable companies that would have all the necessary protocols in place to ensure their customers and staff are safe. He also praised the health authorities for taking quick action as the spread could have been much wider as has been seen in other countries.


THE OPPOSITION United National Congress (UNC) intended to damage the Unit Trust Corporation with its proposal to use its idle cash balances for the National Infrastructure Fund, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said yesterday.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley would not rush to sign sale and purchase agreement with Patriotic Energies and Technologies before the general election if it is not in the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

Government has announced a boost for fuel wholesalers and retailers with an increase in their margins for gasoline.

This announcement was made yesterday by the Minister of Energy Franklin Khan during the opening of NP’s newest service station in Arima.

LAVENTILLE-BASED run and bitters producer, Angostura Holdings Ltd’s official commissioning of its new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility is likely to result in both the company and its Beetham fenceline community breathing easier.

A NEW study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) charts a course for a massive infrastructure transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean through gains in efficiency, use of digital technologies, and a focus on quality and affordability of consumer services rather than structures.