Tufton calls Mocha Fest pandemic management misstep
As Jamaica marks two years since the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in the island, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton has accepted that some mistakes were made in dealing with the crisis locally, but argued that these were due to the novelty of the virus and not bad management.
Among the decisions which Christopher Tufton highlighted as missteps was the decision to allow the staging of Mocha Fest in Negril last May, which, he said, eroded some confidence in the Government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Tufton, this gave some Jamaicans the impression that there were different rules based on colour or class.
“In retrospect — and 20/20 vision is perfect vision — some things could have been done differently, but, having said that, the reality is, at the particular point in time when some decisions were made, they were made with imperfect information, on the circumstances at the time, and very importantly, that we did not have any playbook for this particular public health crisis,” Tufton told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.
“In fact the playbook was written as we went along, and therefore for anyone to assume that you would have always gotten it right would be naïve, and I certainly never felt that we always got it right,” added Tufton.
He said in managing the crisis the Jamaican authorities tried to pivot or adjust their approaches where necessary, based on consultation, expert advice, and what was happening at that point in time, while trying to balance lives and livelihood.
“We changed to address the particular circumstance, whether it was the COVID-19 as a threat or the side effects of COVID, for example, the economics around which COVID restrictions created.” Tufton added that too often people assess Jamaica’s COVID-19 response in a manner that does not take context into consideration, and too often critics tend to compare what happens in other countries.
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