Jamaican News

Public Education Campaign To Heighten Awareness About Coronavirus

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says a Ministry-led national public education campaign is under way to heighten citizens’ awareness about the novel coronavirus.

Addressing journalists at a media briefing at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston on February 5, Dr. Tufton said newspaper advertisements have commenced, and there are social media postings on his personal page as well as those of the Ministry and Regional Health Authorities.

“I understand we will hear some radio ads coming out soon,” the Minister added.

“We would have done a series of interviews… myself [and] the various medical team members. I get a call almost every day for a comment… and I try to respond because I know it’s important.

So yes, we are engaged, as part of the response [to the coronavirus], in a public education programme,” the Minister assured.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton is again encouraging Jamaicans to refrain from actions or expressions that could be viewed as discriminatory towards members of the Chinese community in Jamaica, consequent on the onset of the coronavirus.

“I think it’s important that we include that [urging] in the narrative and I have personally tried to. I have made it very clear, and I want to make it clear again, that our efforts to minimise the risk [of the virus surfacing in Jamaica] are in no way, shape or form a commentary or a reflection on the strength of the friendship and, indeed, the people of China… and China as a country,” he said.

Dr. Tufton also reiterated that the Government is “working in the interest of our people to protect the country from this virus, as other countries around the world are doing”.

“But as far as we are concerned, we are doing so in the interest of humanity, including the Chinese population, who, themselves, are doing a lot in their country. [This] includes a number of the measures we are taking here – restricting travel, quarantining, isolation… all of the things that we are doing are being done there,” he pointed out.

The Minister said that Jamaica shares the concerns of the People’s Republic of China, “and we are, as best as possible, coordinating with them to ensure that we solve this problem together”.

“So, our actions should not, in any way, be interpreted as being discriminatory, because that’s certainly not the intention, and we would encourage all Jamaicans not to take that approach either.

We are sorry about what is taking place there, and we share with them in whatever way we can to ensure that we work together to address this issue,” Dr. Tufton added.


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