Jamaica PM Holness Has Pragmatic Covid-19 Take
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is reiterating that the imposition of stricter COVID-19 measures could create dire economic and social challenges for Jamaica.
His comments come amid growing calls from some doctors for a tightening of the current virus containment measures amid a surge in infections, hospitalisations and the COVID-positivity rate locally.
Addressing the opening of the new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Wednesday, Holness asserted that the current coronavirus prevention protocols were enough, arguing that people must take personal responsibility for their health.
“Now, there are those who would want to see tighter rules, but we have to reach a reasonable balance. Tighter rules could mean less work, it could mean less economic activity, less income and that also could mean more social problems,” he explained.
Jamaica PM Holness has been facing criticisms after he maintained his position of “argument done” in relation to the reinstating lockdown measures to help curb the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.
While acknowledging that the government has a duty to protect its citizens, Holness on Wednesday again remained adamant that “in a democracy, which we claim where people have freedom, that freedom comes with an inescapable responsibility.”
He continued: “This nation must develop and learn to use their freedom responsibly, and as the leader of the nation at this time, regardless of pushback [and] objections, I must stand firm… that we must act responsibly.
“Each citizen must do their part. The government can only do so much. Government has limits,” declared Holness.
Turning once more to the clamour for new measures, Holness maintained that there are measures in place to address the current fourth coronavirus wave.
“To be clear, there are rules and regulations and requirements under the DRMA (Disaster Risk Management Act), which have been set many months ago, which the nation was advised of, and it is these rules we will continue to observe,” he stated.