No Cement

Flashback: OUT OF STOCK: A sign that reads “No Cement” is displayed at a hardware store in East Trinidad. The price of cement has tripled since Covid-19 came to our shores in 2020. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

LEECHES, opportunists and those who want to “dig out other people’s eyes” was how Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday described some hardware store owners who decided to increase the price of cement during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there were no inflated costs from manufacturers to distri­butors, Rowley said he “needed an explanation” as to the sudden increase of the pro­duct at hardware stores.

In some instances, prior to the current lockdown, some hardware dealers had been selling cement for up to $150 per bag.

A bag of cement usually retails for around $50.

“I would like somebody to explain to me what is the driving force behind the increase of cement because, you see, a lot of people like to jump in front as if they going to land on the Government,” the Prime Minister said.

“They are going to tell you what wonderful citizens they are, but they are leeches and they are greedy and they will take advantage of the sick and the infirm because I have no understanding as to what has gone on to increase costs of any cement, warranting an increase in the cost of cement.”

He added that in the next two to three weeks, there may be a consi­deration to reopen hardware stores, but for customers who visit these business places, they should “keep a frown on your face if anyone in the establishment were to tell them of an increase in the price of cement.”

“...It is not right and it is simply taking advantage of a bad situation,” the Prime Minister said. “I hope we do not see any more of that because in so far that some of us are going beyond the call of duty as our healthcare staff is, there are others in the national economy who are only seeing opportunities to benefit for themselves, and that really upsets me and that should upset you, too.”


It’s only a matter of time before Trini­dad and Tobago gets its first case of the Delta variant, as it’s more transmissible than the P1 (Brazilian) variant, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley also warned on Thursday that it is inevitable the highly infectious Delta variant will reach T&T’s shores.

Head of the National Primary Schools Principals Association Carlene Hayes says many teachers have already accessed the Covid-19 vaccine on their own, and did not wait for the Ministry of Education’s current vaccination drive.

“The Prime Minister is saying that teachers are not taking the vaccine, but this is not so,” she said yesterday during a telephone interview with the Express.

What happened in the canefield was a planned and frenzied assault, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-­Hinds said, in deli­vering guilty verdicts yesterday on Sean Luke murderers Akeel Mitchell and Richard Chatoo.

When Pauline Bharat goes to bed at night, and the house grows quiet, what happened in the final moments of the life of her ­infant son Sean Luke fills her mind.

“I put my pillow over my face and bawl into it, so nobody would hear me. And I pray to God to remove these thoughts, to please, please, help me. I beg God to have mercy on me,” she said yesterday.

More people should consider becoming kidney donors as they can potentially save someone’s life and the procedure carries little risk to them.

This according to Prof Vijay Naraynsingh, who led a team of young doctors that performed a successful kidney transplant on Wednesday at the Medical Associates private hospital in St Joseph.

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