Despite the recent upsurge in the number of positive COVID-19 cases reported in the country over the past week, there are no immediate plans by the government to institute a second lockdown of the country.
Attorney General and Minister of Public Safety, Steadroy Benjamin, said when the Cabinet convenes its weekly meeting today he will not be proposing to the other members that they should agree to another lockdown.
“I am aware that we have had several new positive cases; however, as Minister of Public safety, I don’t believe that we should go the route of a lockdown. My feelings are that we should wait for a week or so to examine the development before we make that decision,” he explained.
According to the Public Safety Minister, none of his other Cabinet colleagues has made contact with him to discuss a lockdown. “Nobody, not the Prime Minister, nor the Minister of Health has called to discuss the matter. However, we will discuss the matter in further details at Cabinet later today,” he stated.
Benjamin is suggesting that the government should concentrate on encouraging residents to strictly adhere to the health protocols as established by the Ministry of Health. Additionally, the Attorney General will be recommending stiffer penalties for those who break the curfew regulations. He will also discuss ways to improve the policing of the state of emergency regulations.
The minister has expressed dismay over what he said are examples of residents continually flouting the regulations, despite information of the recent increase in the number of cases and the established fact that adhering to the protocols works.
“Sometimes as I drive around I see people in groups at street corners socializing without wearing masks. They are putting themselves and their families at risk. They are also putting the nation at risk!” he declared.
Last week, the government extended the curfew hours under the state of emergency for a twenty-one-day period. The move came following several consecutive days of high positivity rates and government said the move was designed to bring to rate under control. The curfew hours are 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Previously, they were from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
It promised that the matter will be reviewed at the end of this period.