The National Oversight Committee (NOC) held its last meeting today, November 2nd.
In their final decision, the NOC supported (in part) a request from the Banana Growers Association (BGA) for the imposition of an 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew in villages in the Banana Belt. There has been an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in that area, affecting several workers in the banana industry and banana farms. The BGA fears that without some action from Government, the transmission will spread in the villages and on the farms, forcing closures in an industry that remains an important foreign exchange earner.
The BGA, in fact, had asked for 13 villages to be placed under curfew; however, the NOC decided that for now it would mandate the curfew only for the villages of Bella Vista and Santa Cruz. Additional protective protocols will be pursued, after consultation, by the Director of Health Services and the Ministry of Health team. The curfew is to last for 14 days and will be accompanied by a prohibition on the sale of liquor. A further announcement will be made regarding the start date for the legal restrictions.
This morning, the NOC thanked all those who assisted in its work over the period beginning in March of this year, and expressed the hope that the administration designated after the general election will see it fit to reconstitute the Committee.