by Curlan Campbell, Now Grenada
- Public’s refusal to comply threatens to exacerbate health situation
- Village shops will be open to ensure limited exposed
- Most shops to be open from 8 am to noon on specified days
Grenadian authorities are working hard to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which to date has infected 9 people. However, the public’s refusal to comply with government instructions threatens to exacerbate the health situation.
It in this regard that Minister for Health, Hon. Nickolas Steele announced Sunday that a mandatory curfew will be imposed starting from 7 pm Monday, 30 March. Prior to this, a limited State of Emergency yielded poor results due to lack of compliance, and it had been observed that the public’s lack of adherence to the social distancing protocol poses a significant risk for the safety of the various communities.
Therefore, persons are encouraged to abide by the 24-hour curfew imposed or face the consequences.
As part of the regulations for the mandatory curfew, although people are allowed to venture out for food items, Steele said that it has been noticed that persons are leaving their homes to purchase non-essential food items. “We have observed what people are going to the supermarkets for, and they are not going for essentials. I haven’t seen anyone coming out with an entire week’s worth of food or so. I see people going in for incidentals, and that is almost falling into greed and ignorance. I want to repeat while we said you can leave for food, I really want to ask the Grenadian people to do not leave [their homes] unless it is a food emergency.”
During the 7-day 24-hour imposed curfew, shops are expected to be open from 8 am to noon on specified days. The government stated that most, if not all of the village shops will be open based on the prescribed hours. Minister Steele said this is to ensure that people are exposed as little as possible and for a shorter distance as possible in the wake of the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister and Minister for National Security, Dr Keith Mitchell, called upon shopkeepers to be responsible. “Clearly we had no choice but to allow the village shops to be open, but we expect that the management of the shops will also be understanding of his responsibility to protect himself and his family and the person who comes to the shop, so they should ensure that the people stick to the protocol.”
Minister Steele indicated that patient zero is currently in stable condition and has been allowed to recover at home under surveillance.