In a very encouraging move the usually generally perceived unruly type Jamaicans have surprised many by observing almost 100 percent the PM Holness’ directive that a 8 PM to 6 AM lockdown be observed for 7 days. Starting April 1 and ending on the 8th April 2020 at 6 AM.
This is in an effort to reduce the possible hours for contact so as to help stem the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic. So far Jamaica has 47 confirmed cases and 3 deaths to date. A breakdown of the cases shows that 27 were imported and 17 were import related. The remaining 3 were likely community spread.
The Commissioner of Police Major General Anthony Anderson has stated that some 96 percent compliance rate was reported and observed by him as her traveled across the police divisions. There were 10 arrests nationally for non compliance.
This nightly lockdown referred to as a curfew is expected to help reduce community spread of the deadly C19 virus. Stats point to a 10 percent rate of cases that are confirmed as having the virus of the 400 plus tested so far.
There are reports that healthcare professionals are reluctant to carry out test for fear of contracting the deadly and highly contagious virus.
Jamaica has improved capacity to carry out tests … unlike even the USA. There are established protocols regarding these tests as someone must visibly show signs or symptoms of COVID 19 before tests are administered. More test kits are expected in the island soon. These tests are not free. There are safety gears to protect fronliners etc. We appreciate your service.
There are adequate protective gear including i95 masks to be worn by frontline workers like doctor’s, nurses, lab technologists etc.
We note the arrest and pending deportation of a Jamaican woman for breaching curfew law in Barbados. Do bear in mind that as ambassadors you need to be seen as beacons of shining examples overseas. You should not be otherwise.
It is my further perspective that we will overcome COVID 19 as best as we can, if we are disciplined. Jamaica has been commended for it’s approach at tackling the pandemic known as COVID 19. Congrats!
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior National & International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper Canada.