Wed | Dec 8, 2021

JPs rap public for slacking up on COVID-19 safety

Published:Thursday | March 4, 2021 | 12:12 AM


The Lay Magistrates’ Association of Jamaica (LMAJ) is fuming over the wanton public disregard for coronavirus safety measures and has called for a change in attitude.

February has seen record infections and hospitalisations for COVID-19 since the virus was discovered on local shores in March 2020.

Jamaica surpassed 24,000 infections on Tuesday, with deaths at 435.

In a statement, the LMAJ said it was concerned that public hospitals were buckling under the weight of increasing admissions.

The LMAJ, which comprises justices of the peace, has urged the authorities to expand community services.

“We are strongly urging all our citizens, in every nook and cranny of Jamaica, to wear their masks, avoid large crowds, continue vigorously with the washing and sanitising of hands, and the maintaining of physical distancing,” the statement continued.


Lennox Wallace, general manager of the St James Health Services, told The Gleaner last month that residents had grown increasingly nonchalant about safety protocols.

“We believe that there is a culture in this parish [and across] Jamaica that if we don’t see people falling down and die, we don’t want to change the way we operate,” said Wallace.

However, justices of the peace are imploring residents to comply with the COVID-19 orders under the Disaster Risk Management Act.

“As justices of the peace, we will be paying more attention to our communities, by encouraging and urging our fellow citizens to become more aware of the seriousness of this ongoing pandemic,” the LMAJ stated.

Jamaica has been confirmed to be in community spread phase since August 2020.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness revealed that as at Tuesday, there were 9,696 active cases in the island. That includes 282 people in hospital, with 41 moderately ill and 30 critical.

Globally, 115 million people have been infected with the virus, while 2.5 million have died from complications.