Government is open to considering shopping alternatives that could result in a more systematic approach to grocery shopping when supermarkets reopen.
During today’s edition of Down to Brass Tacks Call-in programme on Voice of Barbados, callers suggested staggered shopping days in alphabetical order or by one’s national identification card as a possible solution to long lines of shoppers at some supermarkets across the island.
In light of the callers’ concerns, Czar of COVID-19, Richard Carter, along with Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw and Attorney General, Dale Marshall, joined the discussion and fielded questions from the public.
Mr. Carter noted that Government had listened to the recommendations from the moderator, David Ellis, and those measures are “already under discussion as to which one would be the most appropriate in our context”.
“We did hear a couple of recommendations … in relation to how you deal with persons when the supermarkets are allowed to reopen. Those measures are already under discussion as to which one would be the most appropriate in our context whether we go by the surname of the person [or] whether we go by national identification number, which thankfully most would be in possession of.”
He continued: “When the supermarkets are allowed to reopen, there will be accommodation that allows us then to reopen with a systematic approach that avoids some of the confusion and chaos that we have seen this morning.
Regarding patronizing village shops as an alternative to supermarkets, callers raised the issue of high prices at these shops.
Mr. Carter pointed out that Government was dealing with a very serious disease and a situation that was not perfect, but it was all about survival.
“The village shop represents a situation where people can go to those shops and purchase their groceries in the course of the next two weeks while the supermarkets have been closed. It is perhaps true that the costs are a bit higher at those shops, but the alternative is to open the supermarkets and then face the situation that we are facing this morning.”
He added that provisions had been made for the vulnerable, through a number of measures, that the Government had already announced.