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Story Highlights

  • The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is imploring business operators to comply with the measures announced by the Government to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
  • Chamber President, Janet Silvera, told JIS News that there has been “blatant disregard” for health and safety guidelines by many operators, particularly as it relates to social distancing.
  • “We find that the behaviour of some of the business people is a serious and in-your-face affront to the hard work and safety measures that have been put in place by the Health and Wellness Ministry.

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is imploring business operators to comply with the measures announced by the Government to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Chamber President, Janet Silvera, told JIS News that there has been “blatant disregard” for health and safety guidelines by many operators, particularly as it relates to social distancing.

“We find that the behaviour of some of the business people is a serious and in-your-face affront to the hard work and safety measures that have been put in place by the Health and Wellness Ministry.

“It is clear that some persons are not convinced about the severity of this disease and so we need as many business operators as possible to join in this national effort to get the word out,” she added.

She said there continues to be large gatherings outside business places, including food establishments.

“We are also seeing where some business places are not taking the necessary steps such as providing hand sanitisation for customers and staff. This cannot be business as usual… these are perilous times which must be treated as such,” she stressed.

Ms. Silvera told JIS News that the level of indiscipline being observed “is a clear indication that many are not taking this crisis seriously enough and which, perhaps, might require stricter enforcement measures to save lives”.

As such, she said that the Chamber is calling on the security forces to ensure that there is a zero-tolerance approach to the health and safety guidelines.

“We strongly support measures to flatten the curve while the treatments and remedies are expeditiously developed or found to curtail this pandemic,” she added.

Ms. Silvera said that the Chamber, for its part, will be reaching out to digital board operators to make space available for public service announcements to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

“We will be looking at working with the operators, who are strategically placed throughout Montego Bay, to give 15- or 30-second ads, every 15 minutes, highlighting health and safety guidelines relating to COVID-19,” she noted.

The Chamber President said the Government is trying to prevent a situation where, due to the reckless behaviour of non-conformers, more cases of the virus emerge, causing a massive run on the hospitals, and the situation becomes uncontrollable.

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