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Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is urging persons to stay at home during the upcoming Emancipation Day holiday (Saturday, August 1), in an effort to decrease the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Jamaica now has 855 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Dr. Tufton made his appeal during the COVID-19 Media Update and Conversations, held on Thursday (July 30), at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in New Kingston.

“I really want to make a special appeal in keeping with this weekend and the next, where there are some holiday festivities that normally take place based on the dates, that we encourage Jamaicans to minimise and if possible, use the time to stay at home,” Dr. Tufton said.

“The [Disaster Risk Order 11, which will become effective on August 1], doesn’t mandate it, but we are encouraging it because this is the time when we run significant risks of spreading COVID-19,” he said.

The Disaster Risk Orders for August include: nightly curfews between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. daily between August 1 and September 30, 2020; gatherings not exceeding 20 persons; persons 75 years and older are to remain at home; and markets are to open between Mondays and Saturdays during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and closed on Sundays.

Dr. Tufton is requesting that persons in Jamaica, during the upcoming holidays, observe these Orders and take the necessary precautions.

“I want to make a special appeal to Jamaicans or non-Jamaicans, all of us here on the island, that for Emancipation and Independence holidays that are coming up, we observe the Orders, and to resist the temptation to overindulge and to be so liberal in our approach that we breach these Orders, and to those under home quarantine, the 20,000 persons, it is important for us to observe these Orders,” he said.

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