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Private sector ‘can’t take another lockdown’


Private sector ‘can’t take another lockdown’
Eddy Abed says the private sector is still struggling after last year’s shutdown. (FILE)

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Former president of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eddy Abed, is warning that an extended lockdown could further cripple the private sector, particularly those in retail and distribution.

“It is not a surprise to most of us in the private sector that we’re being warned now that there could be a Plan B if the [COVID-19] numbers don’t fall into line. Whether that is a pre-subscribed ratio that has been set by the WHO [World Health Organisation] or it is a home-made number, we do know there is going to be ultimately a litmus test,” he told the Saturday Sun in an interview.

Earlier this week, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic put Barbadians on notice that unless the country brought down the COVID-19 positivity rating (the percentage of positive cases from daily tests) by next week, his ministry was likely to recommend to Cabinet an extension of the current February 3-17 shutdown.

The national pause has seen hundreds of businesses closing their doors, sending some staff on early vacation, or even laying off workers in some cases.

Abed, who is managing director of Abed’s, suggested health officials find a way to clamp down on those sectors which have been the source of the rise in COVID-19 cases. (RA)

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