Falmouth’s mayor issues warning to St Catherine vendors

FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Falmouth’s mayor, Colin Gager is warning that the municipal police has been placed on high alert for any vendor who might have sneaked out of St Catherine, which is now under lockdown, to try to peddle their wares at the “bend-down market” in Falmouth on Wednesday.

Before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vendors from all across the island flocked the bend-down market on Wednesday, making it what is believed to be the biggest weekly flea market in the English-speaking Caribbean.

“Those who should be under lockdown will not be accommodated at the market at this time,” underscored Gager, who is the chairman of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation.

He noted that it should not be hard to identify the vendors, who are all known to the workers of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation.

“Every vendor at the market is registered and have a photo identification, and we have a copy of their docket with photos; therefore, it should not be too difficult to identify them,” Gager told the Jamaica Observer.

Gager was, however, quick to point out that the bend-down market has drastically scaled down since outbreak of COVID-19.

“The bend-down market is one of the most exciting places for bargain-seekers to shop on Wednesdays, and you have vendors coming from all across the island, but I must say though that the numbers of vendors coming from Kingston and Spanish Town has been reduced drastically,” Gager said.

He noted that the municipality mulled the closure of the market on Wednesdays, but it was overpowered by the great need to meet the demand for ground provisions.

The mayor said, in addition to the provision of hand-sanitising facilities at the entrance of the market and bathrooms, strict social distancing measures are largely adhered to at the facility.

Since Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a lockdown in St Catherine the St James Health Department and the police have rounded up a number of residents from that parish who sought to escape.

Last week Trelawny confirmed its first case of COVID-19.


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