Mon | Dec 6, 2021

Implement a work-from-home policy – MoBay Chamber president

Published:Thursday | March 11, 2021 | 12:07 AM

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) is urging businesses in Montego Bay and across the western region to implement work-from-home arrangements for more of their workers in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

At the same time, the western Jamaica business umbrella group is calling on residents and visitors to the western parishes, to adhere to the recommendation of the health authorities for persons to wear masks in public spaces.

President of MBCC, Janet Silvera, says urgent action is needed by the Government, the private sector and the people of Jamaica to do more to reduce the suffering, loss and adverse impact on productivity being caused by the growing number of infections and deaths from the disease.

“The chamber is encouraging our members, as well as business owners and operators who are not members of the organisation, to immediately put in place arrangements for staff who are not engaged in frontline essential duties, and who are not involved in pandemic-related public response jobs, to, as much as is practicable, work from home. This action is urgent and necessary to reduce the number of persons coming in contact with each other in public spaces, including on public transport, as the most recent spike in COVID-19 case numbers continues,” Silvera said is a statement on Tuesday.

The Chamber of Commerce head noted that the organisation is not in support of a widespread lockdown of the country, or even of certain parishes or communities, but recognises that urgent and responsible action is required now to reduce the spread and ward off more serious calamity in the wake of the alarming increase of COVID-19 cases across the western region and the rest of the country.

“Let us as business persons take the lead in playing a greater and more responsible role in creating the conditions that can lead to a decisive and significant flattening of the infections curve, recognising that there are still not enough vaccines available in the country to present a real short-term option for effective control of pandemic at this point in time,” Silvera appealed.

She adds that many members of the public are not adhering to the precautions to keep themselves, their family members and other persons safe from the coronavirus by following the simple, but potentially life-saving recommendation of properly wearing a mask in public, covering the nose and mouth.

“I am alarmed at the wanton disregard for mask wearing by many persons in the city of Montego Bay, and in other towns and communities across western Jamaica. If we as citizens don’t play our part, we will have no one but ourselves to blame when more of our loved ones get sick and die from COVID-19, or from the total collapse of the health service when it is overburdened by too many sick people seeking care beyond the capacity of the health institutions, both public and private,” she noted.

The MBCC president says the organisation will again be spearheading a ‘Mask Up MoBay’ campaign in an effort to get more persons to wear masks and to do so properly. For this initiative, the Montego Bay chamber will be collaborating with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the Western Regional Health Authority and several businesses in the city.

“The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce is committed to doing all we can to mobilise our members and to work with all sectors of the society in an effort to save lives, keep our people healthy, and minimise the suffering and negative efforts on families, businesses, communities and the economy being cause by the ongoing pandemic,” Silvera emphasised.