Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Consider COVID-19 plan for urban centres – Golding

Published:Monday | April 6, 2020 | 12:08 AM
Golding
Golding

A member of the Special Select Committee of Parliament discussing issues relating to COVID-19, wants to know what plans, if any, the Government has to deal with a possible community transmission of the disease in densely populated urban centres and pockets of rural Jamaica.

Committee member and Member of Parliament of St Andrew South, Mark Golding, raised questions on Wednesday about a public health response in anticipation of community spread in those areas to minimise the infection of vulnerable persons who are at high risk.

Committee chairman and Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton said that the Government was making provisions for the “setting up of temporary shelters in anticipation of vulnerable groups being placed in a particular context”.

He said that densely populated communities represent a high-risk group for the ministry.

On the question of releasing low-risk persons from overcrowded correctional centres, Tufton said that the Ministry of National Security would have to make an assessment and arrive at a decision.

Golding said that governments in some jurisdictions have released non-violent offenders to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19 in a situation where physical distancing was virtually impossible in some correctional facilities.

Meanwhile, committee member Dr Angela Brown Burke indicated that many Jamaicans were living in conditions that did not allow them to observe physical distancing.

“The living conditions of some people do not provide that. I am very clear that we have to talk about individual responsibility and we have to get individuals, as much as possible, to follow the measures. At the same time, I know that there are dense conditions that are not conducive to that,” she added.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com