JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Michael Belnavis, is commending the Ministry of Health and Wellness for its handling of the coronavirus (COVID 19) threat.
  • He said the decision to restrict movement at the island’s seaports and airports for 14 days is a “bold” step in leadership.
  • “We have a duty to first and foremost protect our citizens from whatever danger that exists… potential and otherwise,” Mr. Belnavis, who is also Chairman of the National Cruise Council, said.

Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Michael Belnavis, is commending the Ministry of Health and Wellness for its handling of the coronavirus (COVID 19) threat.

He said the decision to restrict movement at the island’s seaports and airports for 14 days is a “bold” step in leadership.

“We have a duty to first and foremost protect our citizens from whatever danger that exists… potential and otherwise,” Mr. Belnavis, who is also Chairman of the National Cruise Council, said.

He noted that the decision was one of precaution and was similar to measures being taken right across the world.

Mr. Belnavis stated that “no praise is too high” for Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton and his team, who have put measures in place and are “leaving no stone unturned” in the fight against this global pandemic.

“The Minister has mandated us to be aware and to step up activities in terms of inspection, quarantining and even questioning when necessary,” he added.

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the resort towns of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril said the decision to place restrictions on the seaports and airports is the correct one.

“Better safe than sorry. Once there is uncertainty we cannot afford to take any chances,” Garfield Dussard, who is the owner of Garfield’s Diving, said.

For his part, Montego Bay-based transport operator Michael McKenzie said, “It was a very responsible decision and one that everybody, hopefully, understands.”

Meanwhile, Chad Brown from Negril also welcomed the Government’s decision.

“There are times when we have to simply make the hard decisions, knowing that it is one that will save lives and give us that opportunity to rebuild. This is one such decision, and I am very proud of the way this is being handled,” he said.

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