Economía

PM urges caution for food sector reopening

While he is pleased that peo­ple will be able to en­joy their favourite meals, he said there ought to be cau­tion be­cause the coun­try is open­ing up with more COVID-19 cas­es than it did com­ing out of the last lock­down

As the coun­try’s food sec­tor pre­pares to re­turn to busi­ness, through take­away to­mor­row, Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley is urg­ing the pub­lic to be re­spon­si­ble.

While he is pleased that peo­ple will be able to en­joy their favourite meals, he said there ought to be cau­tion be­cause the coun­try is open­ing up with more COVID-19 cas­es than it did com­ing out of the last lock­down.

“Now, we are start­ing from a much high­er thresh­old. What that means is that the in­crease in the neg­a­tives will be con­sid­er­ably high­er,” Dr Row­ley said.

“When you de­mand that we do more, we open up, we do less in terms of pro­tec­tion and in fur­ther­ance of your rights and your rights, re­mem­ber, we don’t want to count our out­come in the col­umn of deaths and over­flow­ing hos­pi­tals.”

The Prime Min­is­ter called on those plan­ning to pur­chase food in the com­ing week to act re­spon­si­bly for the sake of them­selves, their loved ones and the coun­try at large.

“I want to cau­tion you, go en­joy your food and restau­rant food and so on, but please as you do so – do not con­gre­gate. You may be in a line. You may be in a group, but spread out. Stay six feet away from the per­son in front of you and we will all be hap­py you’re get­ting your favourite meal, but safe­ly,” he said.

While the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor re­opened last Mon­day and the food sec­tor will re­open to­mor­row, the gen­er­al re­tail sec­tor will re­main closed for now, Dr Row­ley said, be­cause gov­ern­ment is keep­ing an eye on how the phased re­open­ing, which be­gan last week, un­folds un­til the end of the month.

He said the gov­ern­ment re­mains cau­tious as it doesn’t want to risk re­open­ing too quick­ly, lead­ing to a new wave of in­fec­tions.

Dr Row­ley al­so con­firmed that while the gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing re­quests to al­low E-Com­merce and E-Trade, a de­ci­sion has not been tak­en, as yet, to per­mit it.

“We are still look­ing at that be­cause we are not yet ready to open it up across the board to every­one and, you know, in this coun­try, if you just give to those ready to­day, we face the dis­crim­i­na­tion ar­gu­ment but we are look­ing to see how we can fa­cil­i­tate that kind of busi­ness in the very near fu­ture. And once it is in the con­text of what we are try­ing to risk at this time, we will con­sid­er it,” he said.

Lat­est da­ta on the pan­dem­ic from the Min­istry of Health shows that there were eight ad­di­tion­al deaths and 235 new cas­es. There are cur­rent­ly 5,838 ac­tive COVID-19 cas­es.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *