Deyalsingh: People were going to hardwares to buy BBQ pits, paint
A decision was taken by Government to change the business hours of hardware stores, after some people were going to the establishments to buy barbecue pits and paint.
In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced the decision to further limit the opening times for hardware stores, including electrical and plumbing establishments.
From Monday 20 April (today), hardware stores, including electrical and plumbing establishments, will only be open for sales to the public on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 am to 12 noon.
Speaking at the daily virtual health briefing on Monday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh revealed that citizens were going to the hardware stores to make non-essential purchases.
"The Minister of National Security and myself, we monitor the situation on an hourly and daily basis. Some people are ignoring the measures, specifically with the issue of hardwares. Many people were now going into hardwares to buy paint to paint over their homes and bring workmen in to paint over their homes.
That is a clear and present danger to the families living there by inviting work men to come in to do non-essential repairs. Some were saying let's build a garage. This is not the time for that. Visit a hardware for your emergency supplies, electrical, a pipe burst, plumbing. But what was happening with the hardwares was that many people were just browsing, buying barbecue pits and buying paint," the Minister said.
Deyalsingh also assured members of the public that groceries will remain open for sales until 6 pm daily, while pharmacies will be open until 8 pm.
It follows the circulation of a fake document bearing the Ministry of Health's letterhead advising of reduced business hours for supermarkets and pharmacies.
This, he said was fake news and urged citizens to ignore the posts by 'social media gremlins.'
"Someone on social media hijacked the Ministry of Health's letterhead and then in an effort to cause panic, included pharmacies and groceries. Let me state categorically, it does not apply to pharmacies and groceries," he said.