Shoppers crowd together under tents outside West Bees Supermarket in Diego Martin.

Shoppers crowd together under tents outside West Bees Supermarket in Diego Martin.

West Bees Supermarket in Diego Martin was forced to close for three hours yesterday because shoppers crowded under a tent, with no social distancing, amid Covid-19 regulations.

Before ordering the supermarket to close around 1 p.m. yesterday, a manager said Police Commissioner Gary Griffith turned away a large crowd that had assembled under tents on the compound of the supermarket, waiting to get inside.

Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago president ­Rajiv Diptee said while supermarkets have been compliant, the issue lies with members of the public who have been non-compliant with the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health.

“The public has to be more responsible and take extreme caution. Overcrowding of the stores happened for a couple reasons: one being the weather as the tent that was placed outside the supermarket was not adequate to provide shelter.

“The second reason is the high level of non-compliance among the public and the high level of panic shopping because people are uncertain if the stores will remain open,” Diptee told the Sunday Express.

He renewed his call for one person per family to shop at supermarkets.

“We want to assure the public that we will remain open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. We are asking the public to exercise compliance with protocols.

“We want to remind the public that there should only be one family member per household doing the shopping at this time to ensure that overcrowding is not an issue.”


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”.