A WORTHY SACRIFICE: Health minister warns of community spread of COVID-19

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

As the country prepares to move into a new phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—community transmission—Jamaicans are again being urged to do their part by following the established safety protocols and cooperate with health officials conducting contact tracing.

This plea comes from Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, who stressed that tackling the community transmission phase “is going to require more from the public in terms of participating in the process as we seek to manage and control the COVID-19 public health threat”.

Tufton reiterated that staying at home, avoiding crowds, frequently washing and sanitising hands, and wearing masks in public are all crucial safety guidelines to which citizens must adhere.

‘…it’s a sacrifice in the interest of each other—your family members.’

—Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton

“I know the situation can be overwhelming….  It’s unusual, it represents almost a new normal, the restrictions are difficult for persons who are accustomed to moving around, [and having] economic activities contained. It does require some sacrifice, but the truth is, it’s a sacrifice in the interest of each other—your family members, your community and, indeed, your country,” the Minister emphasised.

He noted that the Government has been focusing heavily on containment measures in order to reduce the likelihood of community spread beginning too early, because of the “impact and the consequences it will have on our hospital services – our beds, our doctors and our nurses.”

He said: “If we are to beat COVID-19, it is now more important than ever to recognise that everyone counts and that you must ‘tan ah yuh yaad’ and keep your distance. It is critical that we all play our part”.