Thu | Jun 4, 2020

Inhumane to bar J’can crew members

Published:Wednesday | April 8, 2020 | 12:17 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The prime minister of Jamaica’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is neither innovative nor original. It is downright plagiarism from the playbook of other world leaders. So let us restrain ourselves from praising him for the low infection rate.

What other world leaders are demonstrating, however, is that containing the spread of COVID-19 and taking steps to safeguard their citizens stranded in foreign countries are not mutually exclusives.

The Trinidad government used helicopters to disembark Trinidadian crew members from a ship. Also, several Asian countries have partnered with Royal Caribbean cruise lines to drop off crew members at their respective countries.

In addition, as I write, there are many countries, including Peru, Philippines and Indonesia, that have secured chartered flights to take many of their citizens off cruise ships.

It would have taken a brute to equal what the Jamaican Government did earlier this week. It is inhumane to have refused entry to those Jamaicans on that ship that stopped in Kingston. This is after the Government of Dominican Republic accepted their people.

It is this sort of brute inhumanity that lies at the heart of our high murder rate. This sort of trickle-down coarseness for fellow Jamaicans is reflected in the ease with which we destroy each other.

Next year this time we will look back and realise that more Jamaicans have died from murder than this virus. Jamaica now has a master politician and a master public relations expert, but an insensitive leader.

RICARDO MCKENZIE