Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite today accused an unnamed Government official of giving the public “confusing information” on the opening of businesses during the stormy weather.
Brathwaite did not say what information had gone out or from which Government department, but he said there were important lessons to be learnt from what had transpired.
“If anything, it just reminds us that we need consistently to be on message. We can’t have one branch of Government, for example, sending one message and the Department [of Emergency Management] sending another message. We have always understood in scenarios like this that the source of all Government-related information is the Department of Emergency Management,” Brathwaite, who is also the Attorney General, said at a news conference that morning at the the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) headquarters in Warrens, St Michael.
In order to avoid any “confusion in the public space” in future, he advised, the media should to contact the DEM and not Government officials.
And even as he expressed concern that some businesses had opened while the country remained under a tropical storm warning, a handful of privately-owned public service vehicles (PSV) were plying routes, much to the dismay of the umbrella organization of PSV owners.
Chairman of the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael told Barbados TODAY his organization did not support the decision by some operators and urged them to get off the roads.
“We have one of two persons who would have come out on their own, but the numbers are not what you would expect them to be because the all-clear has not been given,” he explained.
On the other hand, the Government-owned Transport Board buses remained off the road after making the final journey at 8 o’clock on Tuesday night.
While Tropical Storm Matthew caused some disruption and panic by a Philips Road, Cleavers Hill, St Joseph resident who said flood waters were washing away her dilapidated house, up to mid-afternoon today there were no reports of injuries.
The storm also impacted services at the island’s main health care institutions, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), with the suspension of outpatient clinics and elective surgeries.