Director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Tony Regisford says the private sector in St Vincent is in no position to say whether there should be a shutdown of the country or not.
Lockdown And The Business Community
(By Ernesto Cooke) – As COVID cases surge in St Vincent, Director of the CIC Tony Regisford says, such a decision would be guided by facts from officials monitoring the COVID situation and advising the Government.
He believes a decision of such nature, is not an easy one for any government to take, the shutting down of one’s economy has numerous consequences, Regisford stated.
“There are wide-ranging implications if we are to get to that stage”.
The CIC Director stated that he would not like to see a shutdown measure in the first instance; I would not like to see the nation get to that point, and it should not be done as a kneejerk reaction if it ever comes.
“I would want to urge the persons making these decisions to think long and hard about it, measure it carefully, before responding irrationally or emotionally”.
Regisford said no business would like to close off its income. He said if an individual is employed, they would not like to lose their job.
The business operates as a means of profit; clearly, they would not want to stymie that in any way.
Challenges To the Business Community Are Many
The business community in St Vincent faces many challenges, so says Chamber Of Industry and Commerce Director Tony Regisford.
“On one hand you have a situation in certain sectors without a shutdown where there is suppress demand for services, essentially you are doing less business than the norm, that has manifest itself in the hospitality sector”.
Regisford stated that there are downstream businesses not directly link to the hospitality sector; however, they depend on the sector being active for their survival.
“Where there is more suppress demand is in the leisure area, if you look at the big economies, events such as concerts, sports have been curtailed”.
“The entertainment industry has taken a hit, and promoters are feeling the squeeze, lockdown would make it worst”.
Lockdown without reasoning
If we go to a lockdown without putting everything in a balance, we will create more pain in the medium to long run, than the COVID itself, Regisford said.
The Director further stated; ” If it comes to a lockdown the private sector will have to comply”.
Latest COVID Figures
There are now one hundred and twenty (120) local cases being investigated.
Two hundred and forty-nine (249) cases of COVID-19 was recorded in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since March 11, 2020.
One hundred and six (106) persons have recovered, and one hundred and forty-three (143) remain active.
All positive cases will continue to be isolated until cleared by two negative tests.
There are currently four (4) COVID-19 patients admitted for care. All of these adults are stable.