Vendors are going to feel impact of coronavirus ‘very hard’ – Ras Ipa
Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac, president of the Saint Lucia Craft and Dry Goods Vendors Association, spoke with reporters today, March 9, 2020, on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact vendors.
At press time, there have been more than 114,000 cases of the virus worldwide, with over 4,000 deaths recorded as nations around the world rush to address the crisis.
"We are very concerned in terms of our business... our vendors are saying the ships are going to stay away. They already have a warning in America, warning Americans not to go on cruises, so I know we're going to feel it very hard when it comes to the bottom line economically."
Issac continued, "Our vendors prefer to know that we don't' have that virus here even if we have to suffer the consequence of ships not coming into St Lucia and we don't have the ability to survive the way we'd like to especially within the cruise sector. They would prefer that than to have anyone contracting that virus or any of that virus being in St Lucia."
Regarding the precautionary measures the group has taken with the membership, Isaac said, "We had some meetings with our vendors and have asked them to take the measures they ought to take, don't touch their face, wash their hand regularly, always have hand sanitizer... don't shake hands, probably try to give a fist or maybe even less your elbow or something of that sort, that's the most we have right not to tell you the truth."