Fri | Jan 21, 2022

Unnecessary quarantine costing Jamaican taxpayers

Published:Monday | April 26, 2021 | 12:07 AM


The policies of the Holness administration in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic have been just shy of quite amazing, given the Anancy nature of the virus, and our people. The Government’s response has at times been criticised by many, and gone on to be proven to have been adequate and measured for the occasion.

However, the plight of Jamaicans who for personal reasons found themselves away from home during one of these travel restriction border closures, has been harrowing, costly and almost inhumane. The Government listened to the voices, recently when an article written by Lester Hinds some weeks ago, highlighting their plight. This led to the Jamaica High Commission in the United Kingdom (UK) arranging for 27 Jamaicans stranded in England since December last year to be repatriated on April 21.

The issue I have now is that the Ministry of Health and Wellness is not following the science and the statics of the infection rate of the virus in the UK, and, as such, is overacting and costing the taxpayers of Jamaica an enormous amount of money, housing these returning citizens in state quarantine for the next fortnight.

In a report published in The Telegraph in the UK on April 22, it stated that “Britain is no longer in a pandemic” and what exists there now can be regarded as “endemic”.

Thus, these 27 people, who would have all tested negative to have travelled to Jamaica and have all been given COVID-19 PCR tests on arrival, should, upon receiving this second negative test result, be allowed to return to their homes to quarantine for the remainder of the fortnight period. This would probably result in a savings to taxpayers of maybe more than $15 million.

Given the wisdom by Prime Minister Holness to respond wisely, I am again expecting a positive outcome to this suggestion.