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HMC remains resolute in bid to keep out coronavirus

Published:Sunday | May 17, 2020 | 8:52 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer


THE HANOVER Municipal Corporation (HMC) has written to business operators in the parish, urging them to ensure that persons coming into their business places follow the health and safety protocols designed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to blunt the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The move forms part of the HMC’s continued efforts to assist Hanover in maintaining its position as the only parish in Jamaica without any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

According to David Gardner, chief executive officer (CEO) of the HMC, the corporation is very concerned about how people are gathering at some business places, in several instances not in keeping with the required social-distancing directive stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to prevent the spread of the virus.

“You know, of course, of the drive towards social distancing and the importance of that. Apart from enforcing it in all the entities that we have, what we are doing as well is looking on other areas of the parish, for example, at the banks, offices of the money transfer agencies, bill payment entities, et cetera, because we have observed that in a number of cases, some of them are having gatherings that we are concerned about,” Gardner told The Gleaner.

“We have written to all of them to say, while we are pleased with the fact that they are controlling what is happening on the inside, we are very concerned about what we are seeing on the outside,” said Gardner.

The CEO further pointed out that the entities have been asked to take all the necessary steps so that they can get the customers on the outside to conform to the social-distancing policy.

“It is a matter that we intend to follow, because it is something that is critical to us,” stated Gardner.

According to him, the issue is not something that can be easily dealt with, but he believes that with some amount of moral suasion and enforcement, it can be done. He also noted that the HMC’s public education programme is continuing across the parish to encourage people to do the right thing.

“My personal word of advice to Hanoverians is that the crisis that we are seeing is one that has affected the entire world. It is one where we have seen countries that are more technologically advanced, countries that are superpowers, have failed to manage it. Here, we are without a case; it is in our best interest to do all the things that we have learned from those countries, and even other parishes, to make the right decisions, because, at the end of the day, it will be to the benefit of us all,” said Gardner.