Sat | Sep 26, 2020

Second COVID wave could be worse than first – PM

Published:Saturday | August 8, 2020 | 12:20 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) and Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, the member of parliament for St James East Central, unveil a new sign at the entrance of the Barrett Town in the constituency on Friday, August 7.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) and Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, the member of parliament for St James East Central, unveil a new sign at the entrance of the Barrett Town in the constituency on Friday, August 7.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Following a recent spike in COVID-19 infections, Prime Minister Andrew Holness is warning that complacency with the success of controlling the coronavirus’ spread locally could result in a fresh and more dangerous outbreak in Jamaica.

“Our success can easily become our failure. If we believe that because we have had such low death rates and relatively low numbers in terms of overall infections and that the worst has passed, then we are only fooling ourselves and lulling ourselves into a sense of complacency, which will bring on a second wave, which could potentially be even more dangerous than the first,” Holness said on Friday while addressing residents of Barrett Town in St James.

Holness was speaking during a tour of several projects done in Barrett Town by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund at a cost of J$300 million. The prime minister’s visit also included the unveiling of a new sign at the community’s entrance and the opening of a boulevard named in honour of St James East Central Member of Parliament Edmund Bartlett.

In his address to the residents, the prime minister said that Jamaicans need to adhere to safety rules to prevent the virus’ spread.

“We now have more information, knowledge, science, and technology than ever before in the history of mankind, and we will overcome this pandemic. What is a challenge, and what may be in question, is whether or not we have the discipline to do it,” Holness said.

“The secret to overcoming the pandemic, therefore, is not just the science, the information, and the technology. The secret is the will of the people. Recoveries can only happen if we have the will to follow the rules.”

Fifty-nine COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Jamaica in the last 48 hours.

A number of the cases have been linked to a pastor who reportedly officiated services at which congregants breached the Disaster Risk Management Act.

In the wake of the COVID-19 flare-up, the Government has prohibited church conferences and conventions.

– Christopher Thomas