Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon, is urging citizens of St. James to adhere to the Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention protocols, in order to stem the spike in cases in the parish.
Councillor Vernon contended that a lack of discipline by members of the public is helping to spur an increase in the number of confirmed cases.
“These are unprecedented and trying times, and we continue to urge our citizens to follow the protocols [and] be disciplined. But… the indiscipline that is innate [in a] large cross section [of the society] has resulted in more cases day by day,” he opined.
The Deputy Mayor was addressing the monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre on Thursday (February 11).
Councillor Vernon emphasised that it was imperative that Jamaicans start taking COVID-19 seriously, as the virus poses a threat to the nation’s healthcare system.
“We have a [tendency] to only pay attention when a crisis is at our doorways. That is the only time we want to act; in fact, that is the only time we want to react, and I urge you to let go of this culture,” he said.
The Deputy Mayor added that conspiracy theories continue to be a barrier to controlling the spread of COVID-19 and have undermined the Government’s fight against the virus.
“These sentiments and beliefs are hurting us and, therefore, we have to wake up and smell the coffee and realise… the virus’ impact on our economy and nation,” he stated.
Councillor Vernon further noted that the time has come for citizens to “be proactive, be responsible, so that COVID-19 can get beyond us”.
“I am urging all Montegonians [and, by extension, citizens of the wider parish] to take heed and follow the protocols. Stay within the curfew hours, so that we can flatten the curve; also, remember to ‘mask up before you talk up,” he said.