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  • The St. James Poor Relief Department has put special measures in place to safeguard indigent persons against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Inspector of Poor for St. James, Pauline Lecky, said poor-relief officers have been visiting the homes of the parish’s 1,418 registered poor, distributing care packages containing essential food and personal care items and dietary supplements.
  • She said that up to 80 per cent of households have been visited so far.

The St. James Poor Relief Department has put special measures in place to safeguard indigent persons against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Inspector of Poor for St. James, Pauline Lecky, said poor-relief officers have been visiting the homes of the parish’s 1,418 registered poor, distributing care packages containing essential food and personal care items and dietary supplements.

She said that up to 80 per cent of households have been visited so far.

“We have been giving out vitamins and other nutritious supplies. We have given them Malta, Lasco, cornmeal, sugar, flour, rice, cooking oil, bath soap, washing soap and toilet paper. We have been distributing over the past week,” she noted.

Ms. Lecky informed that individuals are also being sensitised about the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene and practising social distancing.

“We have been sensitising them about washing their hands regularly… because it is very important to keep their hands clean at all times and to not put their hands in their faces,” she said.

Ms. Lecky told JIS News that the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has provided funds for a daily cash payment of $300 per day, per child, while schools remain closed.

She said that individuals with underlying health conditions are given priority attention, noting that poor-relief officers, as well as community health aides, ensure that their prescriptions are filled.

“Even before the COVID-19, we have been reaching out to them. Most of them live in areas where the health centres are and the nurses’ aides are going into the communities with the medications and sensitising them,” she said.

“Whether they have a phone or not, we have someone checking in on them and to let us know if anything has happened,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ms. Lecky told JIS News that a special feeding programme is in place for the 235 homeless persons in St. James in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“With the street people, they are being fed on a daily basis. They do their daily bath at the care centre… where their temperature is checked and medication is also given to each of them,” she informed.

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