Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Alexis urges TV stations to improve content to boost staying at home

Dr Shane Alexis (file photo)

Dr Shane Alexis (file photo)

Junior Opposition Spokesperson on Health, Dr Shane Alexis, has called on media outlets, including local television stations, to improve their programmes for viewers in an attempt to encourage more persons to stay home.

This, he said, will aid in promoting improved social distancing and reducing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Alexis made the appeal through an online press conference hosted by the People's National Party (PNP) on Friday.

More Jamaicans are now home as the Government has implemented several measures to help curtail the local spread of COVID-19. The latest of these measures came last week with the imposition of a nightly curfew which began on April 1, and is to end on April 8. The curfew is applicable between 8pm and 6am each day of its duration.

Schools have also been ordered closed until the end of the Easter term, while persons who are 75-years and older have been ordered to remain home.

Additionally, those persons who are over 65, and who are still employed, have been asked to work from home.

Several other public and private sector entities have also implemented work-from-home measures in order to limit social interactions.

Speaking at the online press conference last week, Alexis said with several persons from various social backgrounds now at home, media outlets should consider preparing improved programmes with better entertainment.

He argued too, that not all families are able to afford stable Internet access, such as WiFi.

"TV stations (and other) media outlets could improve the television viewing; the entertainment available for persons inside their homes. We can't just assume that everyone has nicely air-conditioned homes with free WiFi and full fridge. There are (also) many people who live day-to-day (and) have to go out to survive.

“We want them to survive, but we have to make sure that they understand that we are all in this together," said Alexis.

The PNP caretaker for South East St Mary said leaders and policymakers must be sensitive to the realities of some Jamaicans while social distancing is being encouraged.

"But at the same time, as policymakers and leaders, we must be sensitive to the realities that many people don't have the same level of comfort, and (as) we ask them to stay inside or we ask them to maintain social distancing, let's be sensitive to their realities and try to make it a little more easier for them to adhere," he said.

Up to Saturday, Jamaica had recorded 55 cases of the coronavirus, with three of those persons dying as a result of complications caused by the respiratory illness.

On the positive side, seven individuals who contracted the virus have made full recoveries locally, according to the Health Ministry.

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