Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck is calling for an end to discrimination against persons who are infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He said persons who have experienced pressure from community members due to the illness should contact the Victim Services Division of the Ministry and get counselling.
“Being infected with COVID-19 is not a death sentence, and there is no good reason to ostracise and shun family members,” the Minister added during a digital town hall meeting Friday (April 24).
Chuck said families who have “suffered from the indignity of being scorned” because of COVID-19 must reach out to the agency and access the counselling services.
“Do not take any wayward action that can cause hurt to yourself and your family,” Chuck urged, as he outlined a case where a young female whose father contracted the virus had to be rescued from committing suicide, due to the actions of persons in her community.
“The government is appealing to all Jamaicans, COVID-19 is something that has descended upon us, and the victims… it is not their fault, so do not scorn or ostracise them,” he said.
The Victim Services Division can be reached at: 888-842-6467 or (876) 946-9287. The agency offers telephone counselling, on-the-scene response, home visits, and therapeutic interventions, targeting specific vulnerable groups. It also reaches persons through referrals, and aids in crime prevention and welfare.