A sign at one of the entrances at Gulf City Mall, San Fernando, indicating the mall will be closed

In a release yesterday, Persad-Bissessar said those who fall within the non-essential service bracket should stay at home as the country fights the COVID-19 crisis.

“My friends, I know that many of you are worried at this time, and as we prepare for a nationwide shutdown, I urge everyone to remain calm. Now more than ever we must be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar offered her condolences to the relatives and friends of the third unidentified person who died from the virus.

“We need to work together—while engaging in physical distancing—to contain this virus. In a few hours, non-essential services will be prohibited, and the public has been asked to restrict movement. I urge everyone to follow the directive and stay at home,” she said.

She said all around the world, countries and health care systems have been overwhelmed when the general populations failed to heed warnings to practice proper hand hygiene, isolate and engage in physical distancing.

Persad-Bissessar commended the frontline health care workers in T&T, describing them as national heroes.

She said the country as a whole needs to come together to fight COVID-19.

“Remember the watchwords of our beloved country: Together we aspire. Together we achieve. Together, we will emerge from this crisis a stronger and more united people. In this time of great uncertainty, we turn to prayer to find solace and hope.

“Let us lift our hearts, let us show the strength in our diversity, many different religions, praying for our country.”