Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 10th 2015 Contents Members of the BP Renegades Youth Steel Orchestra during their winning performance of Olatunji
Yearwood's Ola in the finals of the National Junior Panorama under 21 competition at the Queen's Park
Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday night. PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Carnival bandleaders have
noticed a trend among masquer-
aders selling off their costumes
at discounted prices in the run
up to the parade of the bands
next week on Carnival Monday
The issue was picked up on
social media site of Trinidad Car-
nival Diary last week.
In a Facebook post, the follow-
ing questions were asked: "Can
someone explain what s happen-
ing? An unprecedented number
of costumes are up for sale in
bands that were so difficult to get
into people were braced since July
2014. When on earth have you
ever seen a Tribe costume sold
at a discount? Usually I m calling
out the people selling at an inflat-
ed markup for profit. What is
More than 200 people have
responded to the post so far and
many are saying that playing mas
has just become too expensive.
However, according to many
of the popular bands, costumes
are either sold-out or very close
to being sold out.
Leah-Mari Guevara, executive
office coordinator of Tribe, said
their costumes have been sold
out since last year. In an e-mail
response to queries from the T&T
Guardian she stated: "Sales have
not been affected as the band was
sold-out since the end of Sep-
tember 2014. Both Ebola and the
falling oil prices came after this
She did note, however, that
there was a decline in new
requests for costumes.
"It appears that the late-starters
(those who tend to make last-
minute decisions to play mas),
have decided against it most likely
because of the uncertainty of the
economy s future," she stated.
Island People s general man-
ager, Colin Greaves said that the
band has a minimal amount of
costumes left. He said that the
band had begun cancelling some
of the requests from people who
ordered but did not pay to try
and accommodate people who
had now decided to play with
He said during Ebola preven-
tion discussions, sales slowed
down but not enough to seriously
affect the band. He anticipates
that costumes would be sold out
during the "mad scramble" that
usually occurs this week.
Paparazzi s band leader Tracey
Andre also said her band s cos-
tumes were almost sold out. She
said there had been a hundred
per cent increase in on-line sales
and that there were very little
costumes remaining for sale.
Publicist at Fantasy, Nigel
Telesford said, that they had been
sold-out since last year and that
they had to increase their numbers
because of demand.
He estimates that the band
could number between 3,500-
5,000 members this year.
In fact, he said, they had to
introduce five new sections to
accommodate the demand for
He believes that the band has
no problem selling costumes
because they now offer more than
just simply costumes for Carnival
Monday and Tuesday but an
entire Carnival package inclusive
of tickets to premier events.
Several attempts were made to
contact Trinidad Carnival Diary
to find out more about the post
but was not met with any
Concern over 'sale'
on Carnival costumes
Months ago when the world was
gripped by the panic of the Ebola
virus, in West Africa, and even more
so as it made its way across the ocean
to the United States, calls were made
for T&T Carnival to be postponed.
Now that the festival is upon us, the
Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan says
all institutions are on guard to deal
with any potential case of the virus.
People travelling from countries
where the virus has been detected
would face a 21-day quarantine before
being allowed to go home.
In an interview yesterday, Khan said
consultations have been ongoing with
the National Ebola Unit to get medical
practitioners ready.Saying that the air-
port officials are on standby for any
suspicious cases, Khan said he was
confident that medical practitioners
would be able to deal with any potential
case. It is expected that more than
50,000 people visit T&T for the Car-
Meanwhile, officials from the Region-
al Health Authorities said Ebola con-
sultations are ongoing in the lead up
to Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
Chief Executive Officer of the South
West Regional Health Authority Anil
Gosine said technical heads met to dis-
cuss Ebola protocols last Friday.
"We met for almost two hours and
all questions were answered. We are
all on the alert and we are prepared.
All technical heads will speak to staff
particularly those from the emergency
departments," Gosine said.
Director of Health and head of the
Ebola Response Committee at SWRHA
Dr Shivanand Gopeesingh said all
mechanisms have been put in place.
"Once there is a suspicious case, all
we are required to do is stabilise the
patient enough to facilitate the transfer
to the Caura containment unit. We have
also acquired the Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE) and we have sensi-
tised 100 per cent of staff," Gopeesingh
He said a designated area has been
identified in every health care institution
so once an individual is deemed sus-
picious because of Ebola symptoms
and travel history, staff would be on
hand to isolate the individual.
Special ambulances have been
acquired to transport Ebola victims to
Caura where a two-bed isolation unit
has been set up. The facility cost some
$250,000 while protective hazmat suits
have been purchased at a cost of
President of the PSA Watson
Duke said yesterday that health care
officials were not prepared for the
Ebola virus as it was new top T&T.
"If Ebola comes, we will be
monitoring it closely and if members
are at risk, we will take decisive
action," Duke said.
He said the isolation room at
hospitals were not up to
"They are saying that they will
treat the virus by using the fluids to
rehydrate. If Ebola affects our
members we will quarantine
ourselves until help comes from
outside," Duke said.
He said he felt reassured that the
international community had made
strides in dealing with Ebola. Duke
had initially demanded a special
hazard allowance for health workers
exposed to patients with the Ebola
Fuad: Ebola no threat to Carnival
JUNIOR PANORAMA CHAMPS
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