Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says that despite the country’s success in dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the disease remains a serious threat and Jamaicans must continue to adhere to the health protocols.
Dr. Tufton, who was addressing the Ministry’s weekly virtual COVID Conversations press briefing on Thursday (July 2), said there is a sense that persons may have let down their guard against the disease.
“Too many of us feel that COVID ‘naah keep’ but COVID ‘a keep’ and I want to make that very clear. We must observe the protocols that have been established,” he said.
“You only need to look across the borders in some other jurisdictions and you’ll see the extent to which COVID continues to be a major issue, influencing hospitalisation and even death,” he noted.
Dr. Tufton said that Jamaica has done fairly well in handing the pandemic, but pointed out that the disease still poses a “clear and present danger”, requiring that everyone play their role and work together.
“It is now more important than ever that Jamaicans remain vigilant in their infection prevention and control measures to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Jamaicans must take on the personal responsibility to protect themselves, their loved ones, their community and the country,” he said.
“As we move into the phase of greater opening up, with more persons being allowed to come in and the relaxation of [restrictions on] activities… it is so important that we remain vigilant and we observe these protocols because otherwise, it only requires one weak link to create a further challenge as it relates to the spread of the virus,” he stressed.
The safety protocols include maintaining a physical distance of six feet from others, avoiding crowds, frequently washing and sanitising hands, cleaning surfaces where droplets may have fallen, wearing a mask when out in public and obeying the quarantine and isolation orders given by the public health authorities.