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St Kitts: Concerns coronavirus could spread to local communities as supermarket shoppers fail to comply with social distancing

By Erasmus Williams

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(PRESS RELEASE) – A last-minute decision by Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris to ease a two-day 24-hour curfew to allow residents to shop Friday and Saturday has resulted in panic-buying amidst concerns that non-compliance with social distancing could spread the coronavirus around the federation.

Dr Harris, in a mid-afternoon broadcast to the nation, had informed residents that there was enough food in the country for the next several weeks and warned against panic-buying.

But as dawn broke residents crowded the supermarkets in St Kitts and Nevis.

Although several businesses implemented social distancing, it did not last long as it was observed at several venues that shoppers wanted to get in and out with their purchases.

“After practicing social distancing for two days, then everyone jam up,” posted educator Hazel Jeffers, who offered the following advice: “Shoppers when you get home leave your shoes outside, spray them up before you get in the house. Also, wipe, spray, wash your groceries if you can before packing them away. You don’t know who touched them before and put them back on the shelves. Wash your hands. Change your clothes as soon as you reach home. Stay safe.”

“This makes no sense, absolutely no sense. I would be so afraid standing so close to anyone at this time. There must be another way,” said Abby Archibald.

“If one person there has COVID-19 everyone got it now, no matter how much dey wash,” said Dedah Brookes.

Jazmyn J Brunder said: “People not understanding that they need to be physically distant from each other, at least six feet. If they don’t take this seriously, they will be forced to be six feet away but below the ground up at Springfield! This is no joking matter!! People up here dropping like flies.”

In a second posting, she wrote: “The latest research showing that you can catch it from breathing and talking. And it stays in the air for up to three hours after. Be careful out there people.”

Na’Fys Herbert said: “This is ridiculous and half of them not wearing masks, and with all the food-buying, if they get sick because they refuse to distance themselves they still won’t have the strength to cook or even eat. To God be the Glory.”

Tawanna C Williams said: “Rams didn’t look like this, they had order and nobody had to tell locals how to line up. But Valu Mart crowd is a different breed.”

“Harris said no panic-buying, enough food there, but how can he be trusted when he seems totally incapable of ensuring his decisions are sound after looking seriously at the impact the decisions can cause to a people. What he should have done is give enough time for people to prepare themselves, but I guess he wanted to look good and score political points. It has always been what is in it for him,financially, politically and personally.”


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