Hanover’s MOH urging residents to avoid partying
Dr Kaushal Singh, medical officer of health (MOH) for Hanover, is appealing to residents of the western parish to take on a responsible attitude towards their health and to think twice about attending illegal parties and other such events, which could expose them to the dreaded coronavirus.
With recent information suggesting that the parish’s COVID-19 infection rate is heading in the wrong direction, Singh said it could be a sign that residents are getting complacent and dropping their guard as it relates to protecting themselves against the virus.
In a recent statement on the status of COVID-19 islandwide since the entertainment sector was allowed to reopen on a limited basis on July 1, Prime Minister Andrew Holness listed Hanover and Westmoreland as two parishes that have seen an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.
During an interview with The Gleaner on Wednesday, Singh admitted that there has been an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Hanover over recent weeks. He said that based on the assessment of the health department, the increase was due to the number of illegal events that are being staged across the parish. He also argued that, in addition, persons attending the events are not adhering to the required health protocols.
“There are several events being held that are not being reported, there are so many events that are happening without our notice in the parish, and we recognise that these people are not practising preventative measures,” said Singh.
Singh said the promoters of events must apply for the necessary permits from the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), so that they can be properly monitored in regard to the requisite health and safety protocols.
“It is very difficult to manage the situation, the people have a responsibility to inform us about these events so that they (the events) can be monitored,” said Singh. “I am appealing to all of the people across the parish to seek the required permission and the necessary guidance before attending or organising any such event.
In a recent HMC monthly meeting, Darren Barnes, councillor for the Riverside Division, said only a mere six applications for the staging of events were made to the HMC during the month of July, yet to his knowledge, he had seen far more events being advertised on social media.
The Hanover police have declared a zero-tolerance approach to illegal parties and have arrested numerous persons caught breaching the Disaster Risk Management Act. However, they are being challenged by the creativity of promoters, who are coming up with slick ways to avoid detection.
“We are throwing all our efforts behind finding and shutting down these illegal parties,” said Superintendent Sharon Beeput, the commanding officer for Hanover. “We have been arresting the offenders and we will continue to pursue them wherever they go.”