Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, says the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is still a clear and present danger, and that Jamaicans should remain vigilant and avoid becoming complacent.
Holness, who was giving the main address at the handover of a one-bedroom house to a physically challenged man in Bogue, St Elizabeth on July 17, said while Jamaica’s exemplary performance in handling the pandemic could be tempting for some to believe that the worst is over, “that is simply not the case”.
“Success can sometimes lead us to complacency. We may feel that there is no threat anymore and the worst has passed, so we, therefore, drop our guard… and we go back to life as normal,” he added.
The Prime Minister argued that COVID-19 still represents a live threat and that Jamaicans should continue to follow the health and safety guidelines mandated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
“I want to make it clear that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. I want to say to you and all those who are gathered here today, that there is still a threat and we must never let down our guard,” he urged.
“By virtue of how the Government has handled the pandemic and how you the citizens have been faithful and consistent in following the guidelines of the Government, we have not had any serious outbreaks… thank God for that. However, we cannot afford to squander the gains… squander the huge sacrifices we all have made as a people,” Holness said.
The Prime Minister emphasised that all Jamaicans must follow the basic guidelines of wearing masks, maintaining the social distancing, keep washing their hands and using sanitisers.
“Don’t feel offended if someone tells you that you are standing too close. If you are ill and have flu-like symptoms… whether coughing or sneezing… please stay at home. It is the infection control and other preventive measures that are going to keep us safe,” he said.
The house presented to 88-year-old Winston Wint was completed at a cost of $5.9 million, and is a project of the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), managed by the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme.