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  • Chief Justice, Hon. Bryan Sykes, says steps are being taken to institute the requisite safeguards within court spaces and other sensitive areas of the judicial system, in light of the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jamaica.
  • This assurance comes against the background of two confirmed COVID-19 cases on the island and work by the Government to limit the potential exposure of other persons to the virus.
  • Justice Sykes said while the confirmations have alarmed many persons within the court system and wider Jamaica, the Court Administration Division (CAD) has provided the staff with sufficient resources to assist them in protecting themselves from contracting the virus and keeping court spaces adequately sanitised.

Chief Justice, Hon. Bryan Sykes, says steps are being taken to institute the requisite safeguards within court spaces and other sensitive areas of the judicial system, in light of the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jamaica.

This assurance comes against the background of two confirmed COVID-19 cases on the island and work by the Government to limit the potential exposure of other persons to the virus.

Justice Sykes said while the confirmations have alarmed many persons within the court system and wider Jamaica, the Court Administration Division (CAD) has provided the staff with sufficient resources to assist them in protecting themselves from contracting the virus and keeping court spaces adequately sanitised.

“To this end, we will be ensuring that adequate soap and soap equivalents are in all court offices. We have been taking steps to secure gloves, hand sanitisers, hand towels, Lysol spray and bleach. These are important tools that will assist us in cleaning the courts and the areas that are very vulnerable to this disease,” he outlined.

In this regard, the Chief Justice assured that “there is no need to fear coming to [or gathering in the courts”.

Nonetheless, Mr. Sykes urged staff and members of the public using the courts, to take personal responsibility for protecting themselves.

“We will have to implement measures that will minimise the spread of the disease and to promote good healthy practices. There are things that we can do immediately to ensure that the effects of the disease are kept to a minimum,” he emphasised.

Among these, the Chief Justice pointed out, is the thorough washing of hands with soap and water at work and home.

He said due to the changing nature of the situation, the Office of the Chief Justice and the CAD will be monitoring the situation.

“What is going to assist us with this new challenge is our ability to act upon reliable and accurate information. To this end [we will maintain] dialogue with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Justice. We are also going to be setting up a COVID-19 committee where we will be formulating policies to announce to the staff, and to implement as the days go by,” Justice Sykes further outlined.

Meanwhile the CAD is working to sensitise staff on the COVID-19, particularly in relation to the most effective measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

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