Doctor Calls For Closure Of Supermarkets In Antigua & Barbuda

Motorists line up to enter Epicurean Supermarket

“Because they have the possibility to go to the supermarkets still, they will keep picking and nicking and then going back to pick up more stuff”, said Dr. James Knight, the Quality Assurance Officer for Community Health Services attached to the Education Ministry.

Knight said the government must completely shutdown the country for social distancing and quarantining procedures to be effective.

“If they know that you have to be in your house for the next 7 weeks, you can’t go to the supermarket or anywhere, they will make what’s in the house last”, Knight assessed.

A 24-hour curfew is now in effect in the country, but residents can make essential purchases between 7am and 12pm from certain establishments including supermarkets.

The doctor revealed that he thinks “as long as the supermarkets are open, people will find themselves going there because they might not be on the beach, but they are picking and nicking at home”.

The government is trying to keep residents in doors as much as possible as it seeks to put a stop to the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

A doctor who tested positive for the virus reportedly saw a large number of patients before he began exhibiting symptoms.

“We now have a situation in which there is a case that could have had a significant amount of contacts and those contacts as much as they are being traced and what’s not, you still don’t know who all are the contacts of those contacts”, Knight remarked.

Knight said a complete shutdown would give the country “a period there where anything popping up, you know, does not come as a total surprise to you. That is, more cases that you expect”.

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  1. The rich doctor can say that cause he can afford to buy food for 7 weeks one time. What about the people that can’t afford to do that? I agree people need to stay home because they or their loved ones COULD die. I also know if they stay home indefinitely without food the WILL die.

    • This! Just this! I thought to myself “spoken like a doctor with a surgeon salary and a huge fridge and storage space to store food for 7 weeks” when they have an app that can deliver food to my door, that’s when I’ll stop leaving my house

  2. Very extreme bad advice. People do not stand in line ups for hours because the can’t go to the beach. This will cause panic. I think the government is doing an excellent job at this time and we are all well informed unless you live under a rock. The epicurean should be open longer so the line ups are shorter. Face masks ( easy to make your own) hand sanitizer, social distancing plus the rules in effect right now are very good.

      • The good doctor has his house full with food he has electricity n all so he can lock down forever mr pm please don’t follow his advice think about the poor who don’t have such luxury like this doctor…

  3. [04/04, 7:03 PM] Berlinda H Dowe: I can only buy groceries if and when I receive money. Don’t have money to stock up on items so you might see me going to the shop often especially if I am in need of things that I don’t have

    • Social distancing is not being practiced with the crowds. My suggestion is buy what you need in one or two trips and then relax. Do all the things that you were too busy to do. Stay safe.

      • This suggestion by the Doctor to close supermarkets and other food source supplies is just not practical and dangerous as even reporting it will cause even more panic buying!! There are approximately 100k people living on Island with only limited numbers allowed in the supermarkets at any one time, do the math in the hours available to shop presently are just too few, possibly the number of persons allowed into the supermarkets at one time is also maybe too restrictive for the larger supermarkets… Before the lockdown roads, stores and supermarkets were empty everyone was pacing themselves! No persons wish to be standing in the queues at the risk of infecting themselves, to open for normal daylight hours should not be an issue… Let’s get this right, look at what other countries are doing they are allowing their supermarkets to stay open without such restrictive measures that in turn prevents mass queuing… Please no more talk of shutting down food sources, that’s just going to make matters much worse.

  4. I thought medical men are meant to be smart! It’s ridiculous to say close the supermarkets and access to food and provisions for seven weeks. Looks like this is another doctor with fever!

    • Dr. James Knight is a total idiot, a total idiot is he. How can you want the government to completely lockdown when majority of the country a live off minimum wage with little or no help from the government. I wonder if this doctor will pay for weeks of groceries for each household in this country since he’s calling for full lockdown. Stupid idiotic doctor

  5. 90% of Antigua are not able to make do with what they have for food for 7 weeks. That is starvation. All that needs to happen is the enforcement of social distancing guidelines at the supermarkets and that will minimize the risk.

  6. I agree with Dr.Knight. Rationing and quarantine is the only thing that could save us. Closing super markets for weeks at a time is not a bad idea.

    • Hey cunt, can you tell me what is your monthly income? Can you tell me how many fridges do you have? Can you tell me how big is your kitchen? I’m, like thousands and thousands of Antiguans, poor people, people that we ave small or not fridge, people that our kitchen is too small, and we don’t have space and MONEY to storage food for long periods. We depend of a weekly paid to survive, we don’t have jobs now, and I don’t know how I gonna paid bills. I have two kids to feed, and without job how I gonna do it. Government workers are happy Because they are getting paid, Antigua can be close for 3 months and those government guys will get full paid. Doctors are cunts, stealing money from people for every appointment. Most of them have a Private clinic and have a job in the Hospital. Twice salary, brunch of criminals, they want to shut down everything, for what? We gonna died due starvation, that gonna be worse. I don’t have 100 EC right now to buy nothing. Don’t come doctors to advise bullshit at this time of the game. We are tired, soon people gonna be tired and gonna go out to Mashup stores glasses to take food to survive, keep running this mess of closing everything, most people of Antigua need a weekly paid.. Remember that and don’t blame people when a social disturbing start going around.

  7. People are going to say these measures are too drastic, until we have CONFIRMED increased community spread and our first few fatalities.

    Closing the supermarkets is logical, and government supervised food distribution and/or provisions made for supermarket delivery services would be exponentially better than the current setup.

    • Why not the supermarket or for new business opportunity can be created. This could be great if the government start an initiative by supplying the public going round to villages with basic food essentials, not as hand out but like CMC offer reduced prices on essentials to its’ public. Just some creativity to ponder about to find solutions. – “If you not apart of the solution then your apart of the problem.”

  8. It’s time we let the supermarket go to te people rather than to let the people go to the supermarket.
    if that is not possible lets divide the island in seven sections and allow each section a shopping day.
    lots of people do not manage to get in and out by 12:00pm. means they have to try the next day.
    One good thing I have noticed, people are suddenly remembering their neighbourhood shop. at least I have.

  9. i completely agree with the doctor, people say they don,t have money to buy food in Antigua to last a couple weeks…like really? Antigua people must stop, they have the money but the money is for flashing. The best way to prevent this spread is to stay home for a couple of weeks and all will be well, i am not rich and i am not poor but i can make out and so can you all, but instead they want to flood the supermarket…what about the people that work in there with no gloves or mask are they no people that have families that we have to be concerned about? half of you all not even cooking the food you all buying.

    • Ah u ah gimme money ya know me and me living circumstances? Chupz aru always ah running off aru mouth lakka aru know people

  10. I know that myself and many other Antiguans cannot afford to buy two weeks worth of groceries, much less seven weeks. Not to mention fresh produce will go bad after a while and that would be wasting of money thats already tight.

    Yes we want to stop COVID-19 in it’s tracks, but we need to recognize that POOR PEOPLE do not have the luxuries to stock pile stuff. If you want to revise the system at the supermarkets so its more effective go right ahead. But you can’t shut it all down.

    Bodies need sustenance to build the immune system, to give some of us poor peoole a fighting chance.

  11. I know that myself and many other Antiguans cannot afford to buy two weeks worth of groceries, much less seven weeks. Not to mention fresh produce will go bad after a while and that would be wasting of money thats already tight.

    Yes we want to stop COVID-19 in it’s tracks, but we need to recognize that POOR PEOPLE do not have the luxuries to stock pile stuff. If you want to revise the system at the supermarkets so its more effective go right ahead. But you can’t shut it all down.

    Bodies need sustenance to build the immune system, to give some of us poor peoole a fighting chance.

  12. It’s not possible to have seven weeks of food supplies stocked up without having to get out for something except if you’re very wealthy …. A week or two is reasonable for some but may still have to get out at least for water or other vital supplies such as medications ect…. if we have to remain home I absolutely agree but there has to be an avenue created for us to get food and other necessities …. if we can order online or via telephone and have our food bought to us then no problem… that statement about stretching food for seven weeks is absurd… just my opinion

  13. Let us bare in mind that the crime rate will go up if persons can’t get to go out and buy food…. to top that they’re contemplating on releasing some prisoners early…

  14. This is some pre-revolutuonary France “let them eat cake” stuff. The poor people of the island are already suffering, losing jobs and food insecure and this guy suggests people should not even be able to go to the supermarket? Just stay home and starve, huh? And why aren’t physicians wearing masks and gloves to protect their patients? And the government needs to step up now and provide financial assistance to the people who are out of work.

  15. Ana every body ha enough food fu survive threw this . Still me cant get pay fu work me dun do , some ar u boss wicked bad . Ana who with the most food will survive , a the fittest so are u gwarn

  16. That is the worst advice and prevent people from getting their basic needs to be able to live. It is possible to manage access to grocery stores as it has been shown in many countries ahead of the outbreak and working well. The key is proper communication to people, so they understand the protocol for going shopping. Adeqaute safety measures to ensure social distancing, along with protocols how many people can enter at a time, gloves, distances. Etc. Its not that hard… everyone’s effort collectively. When essential food stores are closed it heaves panic, fear and people become destitute.

  17. you mussi crazy. ik pple over do but they cant completely shut down. think everyone make doctor money sir? nope this is not it and best believe is the rich houses we coming to rob first when we have nothing to eat. i see you trying to start a war.

  18. Like Noah with the ark, you were fore warned to begin to prepare yourself for what is to come….. The problem is that we have a culture in Antigua to wait until the last minute to get things done….. In times like these sacrifices & wisdom need to be exercised and yield to the clarion call and TAP things for granted….. Yes Dr. Knight The country definitely needs locking down!!

  19. Dr. Knight is just trying to make a point. He’s not saying to lock the country and supermarkets down for 7 weeks. What he’s saying is to try and make what you purchase last. I am poor too but I have to keep away from the big supermarkets. Try going to the community shops instead and keep from Epicurean and those other big markets. Our lives are at stake here. Take it seriously.

  20. Let persons shop on particular days, based on their name. Introduce a system similar to getting a police record. Split the alphabet into five.

    • this can work, but only if the distribution of persons are just bout equal. so if this is done, some good research is needed so that you don’t have a situation where you have 200 people, and the next we only have 50, for argument sake

  21. Closing supermarketsbis only a good idea if the government can afford to feed the nation for seven weeks. In other words, provide the emergency relief supplies would have to be delivered to everyone, using the services of the army to do so. Just like how these politicians send out their ‘crew’ at Christmas time to give out ham/turkey. That’s the only way a complete lock down will be effective! Until then, a full lockdown will result in starvation and crime.

    I hope all politicians learn from this! When the people say to close the borders, just close the borders jak! The people elected you to represent them, not the other way around!

    • There were places that had their borders closed and the virus still got it. Best soultion is fu TAP AH YA YARD abd only go out if u absolutly have to. Why not instead of rushing to Epicurien, First Choice and Chase why not shop in the small village shops?? The sell the same times as these big supermarkets since they all buy from the same suppliets.

  22. Ok… so if all supermarkets close.. what is going to happen with people who have new borns ? Who need things often? People who look after an elderly? What about people who don’t get paid in months and have little to no food in the house and have to go hungry ? Will you guys implement procedures to ensure people don’t starve? What about drinking water? Not everyone has water in their pipe … what about people who have prescriptions to be filled come on you are a doctor.. “make what they have last” you don’t know if it’s one person or 8 people in a home. That was a stupid statement in my opinion…

  23. to even put this suggestion on this site is totally irresponsible. What sort of effect do you think this is going to have on the panic buying that is already occurring?? The government needs to take responsibility for this, they left the borders open too long and now they are trying to blame the citizens. Even the Dr that was infected wouldn’t have been if the govt had done its job

  24. It happens all over the world I went to the market 3 time before I get in yesterday and am not finish because they don’t have anything

  25. I don’t think that he meant it in a bad way this is about saying life and the overwhelming of the hospital people is one one ☝️ and if 40% of the population end up in the er Antigua can’t handle it the funeral home can’t and the government is doing the best they can but everyone has to play their part in saving their families lives as well as your life. As an Antiguan living abroad I see it unfolding in my eyes 👀 you’re not going to handle it me beg r u please jack take care of your family and stay safe and TapAHYouYard and tap home 🏠 if you don’t need to be outside if you have to go to the market try and use your neighborhood shop it might save your life. my opinion as an Antiguans and still have a lot of families still living there 😷🏠😷😷😷😷😷😷😷

  26. This is a stupid and not thought through suggestion. Name a country in the world that has closed the supermarkets. All the fresh foods in the supermarkets would spoil. People would run out of food and fresh vegetables and starve.

  27. the undertone of the Doctor’s message I get. Its social distancing, However, the doctor needs to understand that a complete closure of the supermarket will lead to more chaos than anything else.

    There are essentials that people will need to get.

    What would be more effective is the placement of a few marshals at the lines whose job it is is to ensure that social distancing is maintained, and you don’t have people in the line just for games.

    this is the time to think, not not to come up with measures that will palce more harship on people as it already is.

    My friend be a part of the solution, not the PROBLEM

  28. Antiguas,
    How much you pay per month for
    Cell Phone?
    Cable bill?
    Wasted water?
    Flashy hairdo?
    Fancy clothes?
    Finger Nails?
    Two and three women?
    Souped up car accessories?
    The list continues. But if you only eliminate 80% of them you could then have cash in the bank to buy food to last for at least 4 weeks. I understand that you can not do it today. But please take this a learning lesson once this virus gone away.
    When I was going to school my parents had to provide lunch. Now the government take care of that.
    When I was going to school my parents had to buy uniforms. Now the government help with that.
    When I was a child, there was no such thing as utility discount for senior citizen.
    What are you doing with your money?
    When I was a child, there was no food/meat voucher for senior citizen. My Granny planted potatoes.
    When I was a child, my in-between meals were mango, guava, sugar apples, etc….
    When I was a child, just a few food items needed in the house to last for a while (rice, cornmeal and flour) with not complains. These did not eve need a refrigerator. Actually, we did not have electricity.
    When I was a child, every house had a coal pot.
    So what’s the fuss my people? Do you know how your for-fathers lived?
    They were even been lash by slave masters.
    Now Gaston Grown is not lashing you, He is aiming to protect you.
    What’s the fuss?!!?!?

  29. Although I think 7 weeks is a little too much,the doctor is absolutely long as the ppl can continue to congregate anywhere,especially in supermarkets where the air condition is always on,the infection will indeed continue to spread.i don’t have the resources to last for 7 weeks but I think I will survive.there should be a total lockdown of the country for 24 hrs a day,for at least a month with no one but the absolute essential workers being able to leave their houses.we need to take this thing very seriously or else we are gonna be the same ones crying and pointing fingers at the end of it month is enough time to observe how the infection operates and by the end of that month,we would’ve already seen all who caught it,who is recovering well etc.all in one simple month.please mr prime minister lock down for one month.

  30. I think Dr. Knight’s statement is shortsighted and not in touch with the current economic reality in Antigua. For one, the supermarkets may not even have enough food to sell people to last 7 weeks. I am wondering if he thinks that the agricultural seeds that were given out is ready for reaping.

    If we look at the situation in New York, the Bronx have the.highest death rate,, at leave 3 times another borough. That is because the people there are poorer and most are already living with preexisting conditions, I am wondering what would be the doctors recommendation to boost your immune system for those who are left with water only.

    Internationally most countries allow their citizens access to medicine and food. These too items are also very vital in the fight against COVID. We can also agree that we should strongly encourage physical distancing, wearing masks and exercise.

    However, another drastic announcement like what the doctor recommends would create a panic situation like we have not seen before and would only create greater exposure at that time. The government has already taken some major steps, we need to now monitor the cases and see if new cases are increasing after the steps have been taken.

    Yes, we know of the situation where an infected doctor might have seen hundreds of persons but it does NOT mean that all those persons food infected. The ministry of health is already performing their contact searching, let us not create a starvation pandemic on island.

  31. What should be done is the following:
    Supermarkets should be open for a later time perhaps from 6-4pm.

    Elderly people: 6-7am
    General Public Hours: 7-2pm
    Hospital workers with valid ID: 2-3pm
    Police/ military/ government : 3-4pm

    Businesses that have delivery options should be able to operate for extended hours, as they will be able to mitigate the risk of exposure.

    When dealing with a pandemic it is important to have clear & concise protocols and regulations. Understanding the needs of the community that needs servicing.

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