Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, says there will be no easing up the Government’s fight against the COVID-19, even with the encouraging news that vaccines are now being distributed in both the United States and Great Britain.
He said that Jamaica cannot afford to relax its health and safety guidelines, especially since the vaccines might take a while to reach the majority of the local population.
The Minister was addressing a meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation on Tuesday as part of a tour of the western parishes, which have seen a rise in cases of COIVD-19.
The Minister said the surge of cases in the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, St James, Trelawny and St Ann is of growing concern and there is strong evidence that the main problem is non-compliance with the health and safety protocols.
As such, he is imploring residents to continue to adhere to the measures, particularly over the upcoming holiday period.
After addressing the meeting, the Health Minister led a team of health workers throughout sections of Lucea as part of the ‘Mask Up Before You Talk Up’ COVID-19 campaign.
During the tour, the Minister engaged with citizens and handed out masks and pamphlets with information about COVID-19.
The parish of Hanover has recorded 275 COVID-19 cases and three deaths to date. Dr Tufton said that the positivity rate of 17.6 per cent for the parish is disturbing, as it is a little more than twice the national rate.