Food services & non-essential retail shut down, experts issue warning

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    From midnight tonight, all food services will be discontinued including the sale of street food.

    This announcement came today from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who stated that all non-essential retail will be discontinued as well.

    Essential services such as pharmacies and groceries will continue to operate, however their opening hours will be restricted, from 6am to 8pm.

    Dr Rowley says he expects persons to be upset, but insisted that this is a bitter medicine that must be taken.

    He adds however that some help will be available.

    Up to 50 million will also be available to those “in greatest need”.


    LOOMING THREAT TO PARALLEL HEALTH SYSTEM

    The restrictions come on the heels of a warning Principal Medical Officer, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, that the parallel healthcare system could be overwhelmed in 10 days if current infection trends continue.

    According to Dr Abdool-Richards, there are 542 beds at seven hospitals to manage ill COVID-19 patients.

    She adds that on average, 13.6% of new cases are admitted to hospital daily, while approximately 6.6% of hospitalized patients are discharged daily.

    The public was also warned that active cases could cross 10,000 by May 22nd if trends continue.


    10 MORE CASES OF THE P1 (BRAZILIAN) COVID-19 STRAIN

    Also speaking was Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, who revealed the confirmation of 10 more cases of the P1 (Brazilian) variant of COVID-19.

    When asked about the P1 strain in relation to the recent spike in cases, he admitted that it may have a role to play.

    He adds however that at this time, there is no evidence of P1 being more severe.