Prime Minister Andrew Holness has issued a strong warning to the public to take greater responsibility, now more than ever, as the number of positive COVID-19 cases increases.
Speaking during a Press Conference yesterday evening (March 8), Prime Minister Holness says “New measures will come into play if citizens do not act responsibly”. In a caution to those who wish to challenge the State, the Prime Minister says if the protocols are not followed the new measures will be effected; these measures he says will have dire consequences on the economy, movement and gatherings.
“We are all free people in Jamaica, freedom is paramount, freedom is the ultimate, freedom is the Jamaican dream, however we are not free to be irresponsible. With great freedom comes great responsibility and as citizens of this country, you have a responsibility, more than enforcement, more than compulsion, but a duty to follow the law,” said Prime Minister Holness.
According to the Prime Minister, the country’s COVID-19 cases are now at a dangerously high level . He underscored that the Government remains strident and resolute in its application of the measures..
The Press Conference followed the arrival of 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the island. Prime Minister Holness says “there has been much talk about the Government’s ability to acquire vaccines” however he reminded the public that the Government has set aside the necessary fiscal resources to purchase vaccines.
“We are always following all the possible avenues to get vaccines. Many countries, richer than Jamaica, with greater capacity than Jamaica, have yet to receive the vaccines. There are many countries that have secured vaccines, paid down on the vaccines but they simply have not gotten the supply; that is the reality of international vaccine,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister stressed that the Government will begin a more assertive campaign to enforce the protocols under the Disaster Risk Management Act.
“It can’t be the case that the individual right rises above the public good. The public good must take precedence over individual convenience and desire to be able to go to parties and gather as you would wish without wearing a mask and social distancing,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were handed over to the Jamaican Government as a generous gift from the Government of the Republic of India.
Prime Minister Holness expressed his thanks to the Government and people of India for the vaccines.