COVID hampers sitting of joint select committee on Portmore parish status
Today’s meeting of the joint select committee of Parliament considering parish status for Portmore was hampered due to COVID-19.
Representatives of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development were to appear before the committee today but this did not happen as it was informed that the Ministry was dealing with a positive COVID-19 case at its headquarters.
The committee was told that the Ministry’s permanent secretary, Marsha Henry-Martin, had come in contact with a member of staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 and was therefore being quarantined.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, located on Hagley Park Road in St Andrew, was closed today for a comprehensive cleaning exercise as a result.
The committee has been hearing presentations from entities as it deliberates on whether Portmore should become Jamaica’s 15th parish.
But it was forced to attend to “housekeeping” matters when it met today as a result of the inability of the local government officials to attend.
The committee agreed that it would be facilitating virtual presentations from agencies going forward.
It also agreed that it would also be best for support staff and technical teams to make their presentations virtually as well.
Committee member, Senator Sherene Golding-Campbell, asserted that consideration should be given to allow committee members to attend the sessions virtually, given the spike in COVID-19 cases.
“It doesn’t mean that we have to exercise that option at every meeting, but it will certainly give us the flexibility to determine when, in fact, the committee can meet virtually and when we don’t,” she argued.
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