JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is once again calling on Jamaicans to take greater personal responsibility to protect themselves from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Addressing the official opening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade’s new headquarters in downtown Kingston on January 19, Mr. Holness urged Jamaicans to adhere to the measures that have been implemented under the Disaster Risk

Management Act (DRMA), noting that tighter COVID-19 measures could result in further economic setback for the country.

“There are rules, regulations, and requirements under the DRMA, which were set many months ago, which the nation has been advised, of and it is these rules that we will continue to observe. Now there are those who would want to see tighter rules, but we have to reach a reasonable balance. Tighter rules could mean less work, it could mean less economic activity, less income, and that could also mean more social problems,” he argued.

Mr. Holness said while the Government has a duty to protect citizens, Jamaicans must use their freedom responsibly.

“I believe we all understand that it is now down to us. In this our 60th year of Independence, what does independence mean. It doesn’t mean freedom to do as you wish, it means freedom to act responsibly and I reinforce the point that, yes, Government has a duty to protect the citizens, even against themselves, but in a democracy, which we claim people have freedom, that freedom comes with an inescapable responsibility,” the Prime Minister said.

“This nation must develop and learn to use their freedom responsibly, and as the leader of the nation at this time, regardless of pushback, objections, I must stand firm… Each citizen must do their part. The Government can only do so much. Government has limits,” he emphasised.

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