Municipal Corporations continue to provide essential services while combating COVID-19

March 28, 2020. Kent House, Maraval – Senator the Honourable Haji Kazim Hosein, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government applauds the efforts by ALL fourteen (14) Municipal Corporations for adopting a duty of care to protect its staff and
members of the public from the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. 

He further wishes to inform the public that essential services offered by the Municipal Corporations will continue during the fourteen (14) day slow down period. 

Services offered by the Public Health and Sanitation Department, Disaster Management Unit and the Trinidad and Tobago Municipal Police Service will continue without abatement. This also includes activities related to garbage collection, markets, abattoirs, cemeteries and crematoriums. 

Following the announcement of Trinidad’s first case of COVID-19, several decisions were immediately actioned by all Municipal Corporations. These included:

    • Immediate sanitization of the Municipal Corporation compounds
    • Erection of sanitization stations outside buildings which included running water, soap and hand sanitizer for staff and the public
    • Sensitization sessions for staff where conducted by the Principal Medical Health Officer (PMHO) to educate them on the virus, proper hand-washing practices and social distancing at work and in public spaces
    • Staggered work hours have commenced and a shift system has been implemented in the Ministry’s Head Office at Kent House, Maraval
    • Immediate provision of hand-sanitizers, hand soap, masks and gloves for staff
    • The issuance of Food Handlers’ Registration and Lectures have been suspended until further notice 

The use of public parks and recreation grounds have been suspended until otherwise advised by the Ministry of Health. The public health officials of each Municipal Corporation have been meeting with vendors of the markets and abattoirs in an on-going effort to sensitize them on hygiene protocols while vending and consistently maintaining a schedule for cleaning and sanitization of all market facilities throughout the country. 

The number of persons entering the markets at a given time has also been limited to encourage social distancing. A reduction in the days of operation was also implemented to increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitization of the markets in Port of Spain, San Fernando and Chaguanas. The cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando have both embarked upon increased sanitization exercises along public thoroughfares. 

Minister Hosein accompanied by members of the Port of Spain City Council, Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation and the San Fernando City Corporation have been visiting market facilities to ensure areas are properly sanitized for public use. 

Beaches and rivers have been closed following an amendment to the Public Health Ordinance in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). An increased Municipal Police presence has been implemented across beaches, rivers, recreation grounds, markets, abattoirs, cemeteries and cremation sites to ensure that the law is obeyed and large gatherings are discouraged. This also includes community patrols to prevent social gatherings, ensure that bars and recreation clubs remain closed and above all else, safeguard the lives of our citizens. 

Minister Hosein reiterates that the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government through its fourteen (14) Municipal Corporations remain committed to providing essential services to the public saying, “We are all in this together and if we continue to do our part by practicing proper hygiene, social distancing, staying away from work if you are ill, we will flatten the curve. Continue to protect the most vulnerable in society. Protect your children, pregnant women and the elderly. Stop spreading misinformation, obey the law and most importantly, we must strive to maintain a sense of calm in these difficult times.”

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