Tue | Sep 29, 2020

‘Who can’t hear will feel,’ PM warns as COVID concerns mount

Published:Thursday | August 6, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Following a meeting of the Cabinet’s COVID Committee, Holness told reporters that new containment measures will be disclosed between Friday and Tuesday when the Parliament is reconvened.

Damion Mitchell/Integration Editor

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has used a last-minute digital press conference on Independence Day to warn that tighter COVID containment measures will soon be reimposed.

Following a meeting of the Cabinet’s COVID Committee, Holness told reporters that the new measures will be disclosed between Friday and Tuesday when the Parliament is reconvened.

The parliament, now on recess, was expected to resume in September.

Jamaica today recorded 30 new COVID infections pushing the overall tally to 958 cases with 149 of them active.

Of the new cases, 26 are current and four are from backlog samples, the Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton reported.

Eleven of the new cases are in Clarendon and another 11 in St Thomas.

READ: Sandy Bay, Clarendon under quarantine

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READ: St Thomas community under COVID-19 quarantine

In the meantime, the Prime Minister has declared that there will be increased surveillance and more prosecutions of people he called weak fences, who are disobeying the COVID protocols.

“Who can’t hear will feel,” the Prime Minister said.

He cited for example, a COVID positive church leader, who recently returned to Jamaica from overseas and officiated at a religious convention and a church service.

Holness said while majority of established churches have been observing COVID protocols, some smaller ones have not.

He has declared that conventions will now be prohibited and that there will be adjustments to the number of people allowed at funerals.

Holness said, too, that there will be announcements in relation to entertainment events.

The press conference got under way an hour late and Holness left for another engagement after taking only two questions.

However, Tufton sought to address concern about churches that continue to flout the COVID guidelines.

“I don’t want to compare the churches to call centres,” the minister said announcing that in addition to prohibiting religious conventions, other restrictions are coming for churches.

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