Jamaican News

Local Government Minister Wants More Adherence To Social Distancing In Markets

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says social distancing must be practised at all markets in St. Catherine.

He is urging the Mayor of Spanish Town to ensure that the message is repeated at the Spanish Town, Linstead and Old Harbour Markets.

“One of the problems with our markets is that they are open and because of their openness, it is much more difficult to enforce. But, I believe that the Mayors are sensitive of the situation and I believe that over time they will find answers to try to limit, as best as possible, the contact within the markets,” the Minister said.

He was speaking at a digital town hall meeting held by the Ministry on March 31 to discuss operation of the nation’s markets.

For his part, Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor Norman Scott, said the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation plans to capitalise on the Social Development Commission’s town criers to get the message of social distancing across to citizens.

“We want to ramp up this public education system in the market district and transportation centres where we will put public address systems that would be blasting the information, and we hope that with this our citizens will listen. With the constant blasting of the information in the area, I think that it will get to our citizens,” said the Mayor.

Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the island and the Minister’s announcement of sanitation and safety measures to be taken across all municipalities, the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation has implemented several changes in the parish’s major markets.

“We have put in place the washing stations where, as persons enter the markets, there is a facility to wash their hands. In Spanish Town (market) there are about four of those stations; in Linstead we have two, and in Old Harbour we have two,” he said.

“We have been doing washing and cleaning of markets for a very long time; however, since COVID-19, we have increased our times for the month. We used to do it once per month and now we are doing it every week,” added Mayor Scott.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *