Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has hailed the country’s front-line workers for the critical role they play in the country’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Speaking at a thanksgiving service at the Webster Memorial United Church in St. Andrew on July 19, Mr. Holness expressed gratitude to members of the medical profession, police force and fire brigade; sanitation workers; public health teams and “everyone playing a role in the management of the pandemic”.
“The pandemic is still raging right across the world. We have, so far, been spared the worst. It is not only because the Government has done a fairly good job – some would say an excellent job – in managing the pandemic but moreso it is because the workers have put out all their efforts, and I today, personally, on behalf of a grateful nation, say ‘thank you’,” he said.
The Prime Minister cited, for example, the contact-tracing activities carried out by members of the public health teams and their attention to detail in ensuring that all contacts are accounted for.
“To do this very tedious and meticulous work to go and track down all the persons who may have been exposed – and when they explain to me the minute details to ensure that they don’t miss anyone – this is to be applauded. I want to specially thank the public health workers because in other countries this level of robustness is not exhibited,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister, in the meantime, encouraged Jamaicans to continue to comply with the safeguards implemented to protect themselves and others from the disease.
He said that in the initial phases, some persons had a difficulty adhering to the physical-distance requirement, but noted that there has since been greater acceptance of the measure.
In addition, he said that the stay-at-home order for persons 65 years and older has been “faithfully observed” and has contributed significantly to protecting the elderly population, who are most vulnerable to the disease. The stay-at home order remains in place for Jamaicans 75 years and older.
“Even though we have raised it, still wear your masks and maintain your social distance. If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out; this too shall pass. But let us continue to be vigilant, let us continue to take precautions,” he urged.
Also in attendance at the church service were Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie; Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; heads of agencies; permanent secretaries; and front-line workers.