Acting Medical Officer of Health for St. James, Dr. Francine Phillips-Kelly, has called on residents to become advocates in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) by helping to promote the measures necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Speaking at the monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Sam Sharpe Square on Thursday (September 10), Dr. Phillips-Kelly informed that over the past two weeks, the parish has seen a sharp increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, which is cause for concern.
Up to Wednesday (September 9), St. James had recorded 217 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three related deaths.
“May I ask that everyone become a spokesperson to ensure that we keep this condition in check. It has been proven, based on what is coming out of other territories… that proper mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing have worked. It has helped to reduce the numbers,” Dr. Phillips-Kelly said.
“We as individuals in our spaces whether it is at work, whether it is at home, whatever location you find yourself in, we can all become advocates so that we can keep our numbers down,” she stressed.
Outgoing Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, also appealed to residents of St. James to commit to playing their part in the fight against COVID-19, as the country continues to see a spike in cases.
Mayor Davis said that the pandemic is real and could have a “devastating effect on our country and our parish” if residents fail to adhere to the established health and safety protocols.
“I would say to us here in St. James, adopt all the best practices to keep yourself, your family and members of your community COVID-19 free, and if we practise, then we can come out stronger and we can prepare to build back our country,” he noted.
The Mayor urged Councillors to continue to educate residents in their divisions about the virus.
“I am echoing that warning to all of us and to those of us who are here as representatives of the people, please don’t hesitate to warn your constituents [about] the real dangers of this pandemic,” he said.