Usain Bolt criticised for birthday celebrations as Jamaica faces COVID spike

Usain Bolt celebrated his 34th birthday yesterday, August 21, and for many, that was the problem; a celebration held amid the COVID-19 outbreak which was deemed as untimely and irresponsible.

Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt has been criticised for having a birthday party amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jamaica.

Criticism started early when information circulated that the eight-time Olympic champion was having a birthday bash even as the nation recorded almost 100 cases of the virus the day prior.

Disapproval grew online when dancehall artiste Ding Dong shared a video of the celebration to his Instagram page yesterday. However, the Gas artiste’s caption said “Throw Back Fridays to last year at my bro bro @usainbolt breakfast bday party kept by his wife @kasi.b”. The problem? The video featured Ding Dong and several other notable Jamaicans including artiste Chris Martin, dancer Desha Ravaz and former Reggae Boy Ricardo Gardner dancing to Koffee’s Lockdown, a song released last month.

Ding Dong tried to address the outcry by adding that “she gave me the song long before she released it”, to which Bolt commented “Ding always have the exclusive”.

Few believed the explanation, as other observers pointed out that the dance moves being done were also of this year, and there was lone guest present wearing a mask.
Photos and videos from the same event were also shared by other guests including footballer Leon Bailey, Desha and Bolt himself.

The absence of masks and lack of physical distancing with dozens of guests present were the main issues for people, several of whom tagged Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton in the video shared by others on Twitter.

One user said, “Yes this was this morning – but you won’t hear an “outcry” even ppl from farrin was there, some who haven’t quarantine since they got here others who you just assume they didn’t”

Another shared, “Well we will not have beds to hold when COVID19, put many of us in the real Lockdown. Two deaths, two days in a row. The Grimm Reaper is on the prowl”

While another joked, “Mummy she “koffee a rasta ino maybe she prophetic”.

Stricter curfew measures were announced for Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and Clarendon yesterday following a surge in COVID-19 cases. The reopening of schools was also delayed by a month.

Jamaica has recorded 1,346 coronavirus cases, including 16 deaths, as at last evening.