Sunday 7 June, 2020

Young: Home salons, roadside vending can spread coronavirus

National Security Minister Stuart Young said non-essential businesses such as hairdressers, nail technicians and roadside vendors who continue to operate are endangering the population and can spread the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Speaking at Friday’s media briefing on government’s measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Young said he has received reports of aestheticians and barbers conducting home visits, trying to get around regulations which have banned non-essential operations until April 15.

Young said these people can spread the virus and are endangering their customers and the public.

“I got messages on my phone, advertisements on social media that certain persons would come to your home to do your hair, your nails and other ‘beautification projects’.

“The spread of this virus is through contact. You can have the virus, presenting no symptoms. You’re not feeling ill at all, not even a cough or fever and you can have the virus and go into someone’s home (and spread it)."

He said research has shown that just by speaking close to someone, one could spread the virus.

“Understand how deadly this is, understand how serious this is. We understand that people want to continue life as normal, to make money and these types of things but the answer is no. We’re asking people to stay at home.”

“Doing those types of activities that are non-essential and hiding behind walls, you are putting people at risk, you are destroying what we’re trying to achieve in protecting the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

He added that roadside vendors who were advertising their businesses were also putting the population at risk.

“We’re seeing persons advertising on social media, certain roadside vendors...that they will have their stands set up over the weekend.

“Once again, this invisible, deadly virus is spread by contact. That type of irresponsible behaviour should not be encouraged by the public. You go out there to pick up your roadside food and you mingle with other people whilst waiting and try to fool yourself that it’s a drive-by operation, understand you are running the risk of contracting the virus and going back and spreading it to your family and community.”

“Was that delicacy worth it?”

Government suspended all non-essential operations until April 15, 2020, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to amended regulations issued Friday, a ban on international travel was extended to April 30, and a ban was placed on all visits to beaches, springs, and rivers.

As of April 3, 2020, at 1.30 pm, 97 people tested positive for the virus and six people who tested positive have since died.

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