Fri | May 14, 2021

JPs being recruited to promote vaccine

Published:Tuesday | April 6, 2021 | 12:06 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Delroy Chuck.
Delroy Chuck.

WESTERN BUREAU:

With the need to educate the public about the importance of getting vaccinated as part of the national effort to blunt the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck is now seeking the help of the island’s justices of the peace (JPs) to help in pushing the effort to get persons in the category now being dealt with to go out and get their jab.

Chuck met with the cstodes and JPs from the parishes of St Andrew, Manchester, Hanover and St Ann recently, and told them that their effort to push the promotion of the vaccination will help to make a difference in the country’s drive to have a successful vaccination programme against the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the justice minister, the nation’s bid to control the spread of the deadly virus is being undermined by persons who are not following the health protocols instituted to slow down the spread of the virus, which is now wreaking havoc across the country.

“One of the reasons why we are having this meeting – and we hope to continue it next week with the other parishes – is to reach out to as many JPs as possible to organise effectively in your parishes, to make a difference, as we are confronted with so many problems and challenges that we must overcome,” said Chuck, who also listed crime as another major challenge.

“The one that is facing us now, we can put in two parts, the pandemic COVID-19 and also how we resolve it in terms of the vaccination programme,;and I think it is fair to say that we are all aware of this tragedy that has beset us for the past year, and that is the COVID-19, and I daresay we are not succeeding at this time in getting rid of it,” added Chuck.

He also argued that there are countries that are progressing in their fight against the viral infection much better than Jamaica is doing, as their nationals are following the laid-out health protocols.

“If everyone in Jamaica could just comply with those protocols, within three weeks the virus would have died, but for one reason or another, we have far too many Jamaicans who are defiant, who believe that this virus cannot affect them,” added Chuck, who pushed the need for educating the public.

“It is persons over the age of 60 years who are suffering the most. Unfortunately, close to 600 of them have passed away,” added Chuck.

“So, JPs, these meetings are to ask you to please reach out to our fellow Jamaicans. Let them know the importance of wearing masks. Let them know that this virus can be transmitted even from the person who does not appear to be sick,” pleaded Chuck.

The justice minister also spoke about the Government’s efforts to put legislation in place to penalise those who continue to be defiant of the health protocols through the introduction of a ticketing system, which will be in place soon.

“I am reaching out and asking you JPs to be proactive, to please be leaders and informants within your communities, to urge your neighbours, your family, your neighbourhood to please see how they can keep this virus out of your region, out of your community. Let us see how we can avoid any greater burden on the hospitals,” continued Chuck.

Chuck also urged all JPs to make sure that when it is their turn, they should lead by example in taking the vaccine.

“I hope that within the next six months the virus will be controlled through nationwide collaboration,” said Chuck.

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