Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, is imploring the St. James business community to not engage in price gouging amid cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the island.
Speaking at the monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation on Thursday (March 12), Mayor Davis said there are reports of a price hike on products that are in demand, including hand sanitisers, face masks and other sanitation products.
“There has been some disturbing news coming from persons that there is a level of price gouging as it relates to some essential items. If that is happening, I would ask business operators to cease from doing that at this time,” he advised.
Meanwhile, the Mayor said the Municipal Corporation has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to help combat the spread of the virus.
He informed that Councillors will be provided with 100,000 flyers containing COVID-19-related information for distribution in their divisions.
“The Municipal Corporation has been posting messages on its social media platform and continues to work with the public health department and the Ministry of Health and Wellness in educating, informing and monitoring the development,” he said.
He noted that the Corporation is in full observance of the Government’s position on not issuing permits for events that attract large crowds, over the next 14 days.
Mayor Davis urged the public to help combat the virus by implementing good hygiene practices and cautioned against the spreading of misinformation.
Stop spreading false information
“We are in a difficult period, but I don’t advise our citizens to be going around and spreading information that is not substantiated by any facts whatsoever. What I would advise our citizens to do, is to listen to the Government of Jamaica bulletin, listen to press releases that come from the Government and don’t take on everything you read on Facebook or on Whatsapp or whatever platform,” Mayor Davis said.
Mr Davis said that protocols have been instituted at the Municipal Corporation to protect staff and members of the public from exposure to the virus.
He informed that employees have been provided with the requisite resources to assist in protecting themselves from contracting COVID-19.
Sanitisation protocol implemented
“Here at the St. James Municipal Corporation, we have activated a protocol regarding the prevention of this disease. Security officers at the entrance to the building will be dispensing hand sanitisers to those persons who are entering the building.
“Hand sanitiser dispensers are being installed at the entrance to the elevator on each floor. All non-essential travel by members of the St. James Municipal Corporation is prohibited until further notice,” Mayor Davis.