No adjustment to curfew hours, increased fines and enforcement being examined – Pres Ali

The 10 PM to 4 PM curfew will remain as is, says President Irfaan Ali. The President was asked on Wednesday whether the government through the National Task Force on COVID-19 will consider adjusting the curfew in light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

“Based on all the advice I have received and the task force would have debated and deliberated, there is no need for the adjustment of the curfew,” the President said, ” You can lock this country down forever, everyday and every night, but if people don’t adhere to the guidelines and protocols, you are not doing anything,” the President maintained.

April is the deadliest month with COVID-19 related deaths moving to 293 with more than 40 recorded for this month.

The President has flagged what he said is “irresponsible behaviour” by citizens which he said continues to put them and their families at risk. He pointed to a report from the task Force to him about a thousand people who were on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway over the weekend. There are several creeks along that highway, which are used as meeting and liming spots over the weekends and holidays. Based on the public health measures, these are expected to be off limits and closed to the public.

“They cannot be this reckless” President Ali said, “I have asked the Prime Minister to discuss with the task force how we can now shift the focus on the owners of these facilities an the managers of these facilities, so if the owners and managers allow these breaches at their facilities, then they will be charged to the full extend of the law,” he declared.

Meanwhile, the President acknowledged that the fines for several of the offences listed under the public health measures are “inadequate.”
” I have asked the Attorney General indeed to relook at the law to see how we can have amendments that can speak to the seriousness of what we are dealing with, so that is ongoing,” he said.