Supermarket Association head: Lifting SoE can bring relief

Rajiv Diptee, president of the Supermarket Association. FILE PHOTO -
Rajiv Diptee, president of the Supermarket Association. FILE PHOTO -

SUPERMARKET Association president Rajiv Diptee said the lifting of the state of emergency (SoE) on Wednesday gives businesses some time to plan their operations and can bring them some relief heading into Christmas.

At a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's on Saturday, the Prime Minister said the House of Representatives will sit on Wednesday to revoke the SoE.

On Sunday, Diptee said, "The lifting of the SoE ahead of the month-end period gives us a little wiggle room to plan operations for the upcoming Christmas period."

"The lifting of the SoE will benefit the wider business sector, including boutique shops and store owners who are expecting to see more customers in ther stores.

"I don't expect it to be the same way with a society that has been conditioned over the last 18 months to avoid crowds and gatherings. So we will anticipate that we will have to create avenues of commerce for those customers."

Agreeing with Dr Rowley's points about 47 per cent of the population being fully vaccinated to date, Diptee said strategies should be explored with respect to getting unvaccinated people vaccinated as soon as possible.

"Incentivising but also prioritising vaccinations is a must. The Government also needs to consider if it must use more forms of direct suasion to address this as we are seeing other nations address spikes in cases and hospitalisations despite higher vaccination rates."

Diptee said this is important given the pressure on the parallel health care system established to deal with covid19. On Saturday, Rowley said the parallel health care system was reaching its breaking point and the public health care system would be compromised if this system collapses.

Diptee suggested more thought be done before expanding the existing covid19 safe zones into other areas. Among the businesses currently operating in these zones, which are accessible only to fully vaccinated people, are cinemas, gyms and casinos.

"The safe zones have been welcomed by persons seeking a return to their businesses as well as their places of recreation." Diptee accepted that covid19 is not going anywhere. "Personally, I do no wish to experience anymore lockdowns or any further rolling back of restrictions."

He added, "In the most pragmatic means necessary, the nation must now be allowed to recover."


"Supermarket Association head: Lifting SoE can bring relief"

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