Ghost town

Backflash: "Ghost town" Pedestrians walk past closed businesses on Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, normally a hub of activity, as newly implemented Covid-19-related restrictions are in effect. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

THE MAJORITY of people interviewed in downtown Port of Spain yesterday agreed with the Government’s State of Emergency to combat the current Covid-19 spike, while a few said it made no sense.

The Express observed a marked drop-off in people seen walking through Port of Spain even on a Sunday but there still remained pockets of limers with small bottles of rum and chaser being shared among them while they keenly looking out for patrolling police officers.

Along lower Charlotte Street the group admitted that they were “taking a little lime”.

They also wore their masks and were seen standing a few feet from each other.

Antonio Jack, who looked on at the lime, told the Express, “The night curfew makes no sense because the place does be already dead in the night but they (the Government) should tell people the right thing. Distance themselves and mask up but some people’s behaviour making things bad for everyone else.

“I would suggest they open up the place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and anytime in between that is jail in your (unprintable)”, he said.

Vibert Patterson said, “I don’t think they are doing enough as I think they are supposed to be testing more.”

Asked what should the Government do, he replied, “I don’t know but locking down the Promenade was a good thing and well I don’t pay attention to social media as I am getting my information from the news.”

He also had a problem with cloth masks.

“I find that all kinds of people are making masks but is it the recommended specs because as far as I am concerned people just using a piece of cloth over their faces. These cosmetic masks not protecting anybody. Right now the safest thing for people to do is to stay home,” he said.

Another man, Roland said, “I am very okay with a curfew but it should be six to six. The nine to five thing not making sense because during the day people still not listening.”

Michelle Brown, a shopper, said, “The State of Emergency can be justified because of the movement of people but what should be considered is that the working poor is out there and the homeless would still be out there. It might work but we will have to watch and see,” she said.

Another woman, a vendor, said, “I believe a lot of us are clueless as the Prime Minister about this pandemic taking place but I believe that he is trying all sorts of different things but as far as I am concerned, the curfew would not help as Covid has nothing to do with time but how we handle it.”

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Three Opposition MPs are calling on the Government and the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) to have a heart and stop disconnecting the water supply of errant customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein yesterday wrote to WASA’s executive director Lennox Sealey urging him to suspend the drive and display humanity as people are suffering and strapped for cash in the pandemic given the lockdowns.

The same UNC people calling on the Government to instruct WASA to hold its hand on debt collection are the same ones who complain in the Parliament and elsewhere that they constituents are not getting water.

“You cannot have it both ways. You cannot have your cake and eat it,” Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said yesterday, as he responded to calls from several UNC MPs to grant a moratorium on the payment of water rates and stop its disconnection drive during the pandemic because people are under pressure.

Smooth sailing.

Braving inclement weather, Barataria resident Kenneth Campbell, 84, boasted he had gotten his second Sinopharm vaccine at Barataria Health Centre yesterday.

While awaiting his driver, Campbell, father of late forest ranger Keith Campbell (who was killed in the line of duty in 2016), said: “The first vaccine, I got was from a man. I did not feel it. The second vaccine was from a woman, and I felt it. It went well.”

Starting Wednesday and yesterday, he was among thousands of elderly citizens (age 65 and up) who got vaccines under the Health Ministry’s “Triple E System—the Elderly Express Experience.”

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith is reminding citizens that patrols will be out prior to and during the enforcement of this weekend’s extended curfew.

In a media release issued yesterday, Griffith noted the actions and comments of “social media trained law enforcement experts”, who appeared to be questioning the rationale in implementing roadblocks throughout the country.

Time is critical if you are searching for a missing loved one.

Kelvin Ballantyne had been missing for about three months from his Tobago home before his family members in Trinidad were informed that he had disappeared.

Kelvin, also known as “Redman”, is described by his sister, Cindy Noel, as “one of the most well-known people in Lambeau, and maybe even across the island because of his job as an electrician”.