The Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton has received a firm commitment from church leaders to continuously play their part in combating the COVID-19 challenge.
The affirmation came out of a second meeting held with the members of the Christian church community on Thursday (November 12). Represented at the meeting were leaders of the major denominations, including Seventh-day Adventist, Pentecostal and Church of God.
Dr. Tufton noted that for the most part, the measures put in place by the Government have helped to curb the spread of the virus, but was quick to point out the side effects that ‘COVID fatigue’ was having on the population, especially the vulnerable.
“It is important that we meet with the various stakeholders, including the church, to solicit their support in helping to combat the added challenges of mental health and other strains, that the restrictions have inadvertently caused. The church has far-reaching impact and influence, both at the national and community levels, and therefore are critical partners for us at this time,” the Minister said.
For its part, the church leadership commended the Government for its efforts and also agreed to continue to provide support to the Government of Jamaica, by firstly continuing to adhere to all the protocols, including those established for religious services and to offer counselling to its members and the wider community, who may be suffering from ‘COVID fatigue’. The church leaders and by extension, the membership was also invited to join the Ministry’s Community Mental Health Response Programme.
The meeting, which was held virtually, was also used to update the church community on the latest COVID-19 data and the possible trends going into the Christmas season. Dr. Tufton noted that Cabinet will meet to decide on the measures for the yuletide season, for which the church’s support will also be needed.