Arima Mayor Cagney Casimire is concerned over rising covid19, cases but is urging the public and the authorities to consider other options for reducing infection rates besides a total lockdown.
On Wednesday Trinidad and Tobago reported 223 new covid19 cases and two deaths.
In a media release on Thursday, the Arima Business Association (ABA) said the pandemic has severely affected the activities of businesses, but further restrictions may be necessary to save lives and protect long-term business.
It said "suffering for three weeks" would be easier than being handicapped by low sales and reduced income for six months while cases continued to rise.
Casimire said while he understood the association's concerns, he did not think a full lockdown was the solution, given the state of the economy.
Citing interactions with Arima residents who had lost their jobs owing to the pandemic over the past year, Casimire said the authorities must carefully weigh the possible benefits of a lockdown against people's job security and mental health.
"A total shutdown may be required, but we have to put measures in place to protect our vulnerable citizens.
"I think it may be necessary, but only as a final resort. I suggest we wait a little while and maybe in the next week or so we will see if the cases continue to rise.
"A few people have already been vaccinated and hopefully we can get some more doses to increase the drive."
In its release the ABA said businesses continued to obey and enforce public health regulations, but the number of covid19 infections continued to rise because of "pandemic fatigue" and "irresponsible behaviour."
It warned that if the number continued to rise, local healthcare systems may be overwhelmed, citing recent closures of businesses and government offices for sanitisation.
"We can no longer afford to prolong the inevitable if human behaviour remains unchanged."