Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Keeping COVID-19 out! - Sanitising station set up in Waterford, Portmore

Published:Saturday | April 11, 2020 | 12:17 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Councillor Fenley Douglas (right) is assisted by Portmore Mayor, Leon Thomas, as they prepare pipe fittings for the wash station.
Councillor Fenley Douglas (right) is assisted by Portmore Mayor, Leon Thomas, as they prepare pipe fittings for the wash station.

A major initiative to get commuters and residents using the Waterford bus terminal to wash their hands before boarding buses and taxis has been launched in an effort to keep the coronavirus out of the community.

Waterford is located in Portmore, St Catherine.

A 200-gallon water tank mounted on supporting woodwork, complete with a hand wash basin and antibacterial soap container, was installed at the bus terminal on Thursday. A sign been erected at the facility urging residents and members of the public to sanitise their hands before entering the public transportation.

Councillor for the Waterford division, Fenley Douglas, who was instrumental in setting up the facility, told The Gleaner that the approximately 20,000 residents would be at grave risk if the coronavirus (COVID-19) entered the community.

“Due to the layout of the community and the population density, if the virus should show up it would be devastating, and there is some fear that the virus could find its way into this urban community,” he said.

“I have personally spoken to operators of public and private transportation and they have given their commitment that they will play their part to ensure that the facility is utilised in the interest of the community,” Douglas revealed.

Timely and thoughtful

Debbie Ann Ferguson, a resident of Portmore, told The Gleaner that the move by Douglas was timely and thoughtful, given what Jamaica was experiencing with the coronavirus.

“This is a very good move by Councillor Douglas, it is the first of its kind in the entire country so far, if every community in Jamaica should put something like this in place then they would be playing their part in fighting the virus,” she observed.

Michael Fuller, a taxi operator, was also upbeat about the initiative. “l am pleased with this move, I have been encouraging my passengers to use the wash station and sanitise their hands before coming into my car and they are cooperating,” he said.

Douglas has implored residents to observe the directives of the health authorities and stay indoors as much as possible and avoid person-to-person physical contacts.

Mayor of Portmore, Leon Thomas, told The Gleaner that he intends to replicate the sanitising facility across the municipality. He said the Municipal Council would ensure that the tanks have adequate water and that antibacterial soap was in place at all times.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health & Wellness reported that there were two more persons who tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of persons with the disease to 65.