President of the Supermarkets Association of T&T (SATT), Rajiv Diptee said not enough was being done to protect citizens and restart the economy.
In a statement to media on Tuesday, Diptee said if the country’s borders were to remain closed for the rest of the year, some revitalisation of the economy from within was crucial, as people were struggling to make ends meet.
He said “These people are the families that make up communities. They are people who are struggling to find the means to pluck a dollar from their pocket to put food on the table.
“It is well documented that covid19 has ravaged global supply chains with the average cost of manufacturing and price of foodstuff increase because of the pandemic.
Diptee added “What has not been measured as acutely is the effect on these communities because we have become so obsessed with flattening the curve on the covid19 dashboard.”
He said, “The prerogative of the state is to address the basic needs of its citizenry; if the state has by its own means not accessed a satisfactory number of vaccines to satisfy the requirements necessary for mass vaccination, the private sector including the SATT knows what needs to be done. We cannot see these persons in our communities continue like this any more.”
Diptee said, “In the race to acquire vaccines, the Minister of Health has acknowledged the need to be forward-looking. In this race of heavyweights in which SATT is but a betting punt, we represent the grassroots who are banking on us to deliver.
“If the appetite did not exist to purchase vaccines in the first place to ensure system correction, we would not have had the conversation in the first instance.”