Hanover’s custos blames poor enforcement for COVID-19 problems
Hanover Custos Dr David Stair is of the view that the newly announced measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act to curtail the spread of the coronavirus will not yield the desired result unless the matter of enforcement is treated seriously.
In a recent interview with The Gleaner, Stair stated that there are no shortages of laws to address breaches of the existing health protocols, but believes lack of enforcement is undermining the effective execution of the laws.
“We can always talk about these things (laws), but they are not being enforced, we have enough regulations in place already, but they are not being enforced. I think enforcement is the big issue, people need to know that they cannot get away with these things (breaches of the regulations),” said Stair, pointing out the many blatant cases of breaches of the Disaster Risk Management Act that have occurred over recent weeks.
Stair, who is also a medical doctor with many years of experience under his belt, further argued that while he tries to encourage the persons he interacts with to take the available vaccine and also to abide by the health protocols, he is not convinced that the additional lockdown measures that were recently put in place by the Government will make much of a difference in curtailing the rise in the number of COVID-19 positive case, unless greater emphasis is placed on the enforcement of the requisite laws.
The custos also noted that there needs to be a local buy-in into the required behavioural patterns that are needed to prevent the spread of the virus, noting that added restrictions on movement might cause people to gather more because of the limited hours allotted to them to move around.
“The people have to buy into this thing. People need to see that they need to accept some of the responsibilities,” argued Stair, who also believes that even if there is a total lockdown of the country, the Jamaica Constabulary Force would still have a major challenge monitoring the entire island.
“Theoretically it (a total lockdown) might be possible, but in reality, unless the people buy into it and see the need to conform, then we are in trouble,” said Stair.
He also argued that following the health protocols is the best way of managing and eliminating the COVID-19 virus, as while there is now a vaccine programme, the various mutations taking place with the virus could undermine the effectiveness of the vaccine going forward.
“We also have to bolster our natural immunity, people need to start getting healthier because if you notice, most of the people who are dying (from the virus) are the ones with weakened immune systems,” said Stair.