Wednesday 3 June, 2020

COVID-19: Quarantine extended for Corn Piece Settlement, Clarendon

The quarantine that was imposed on the community of Corn Piece Settlement in Clarendon where several cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed will be extended by another two weeks.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement on Friday as he addressed a digital press conference from Jamaica House.

The quarantine was slated to be lifted on Thursday. However, six close contacts of a 79-year-old man with a travel history from the United States and who was Jamaica’s first COVID-19 fatality in March, this week tested positive for the respiratory disease.

Among them is his 53-year-old stepson.

Of concern for the health, authorities is that the six persons reside in the nearby communities of Portland Cottage, Longsville and Hayes.

“It is clear why this is necessary; we definitely have to ensure that there is containment in that area…” Holness said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said he was generally satisfied with how Jamaicans have responded to the seven-day curfew which started April 1 and runs each day from 8:00 pm to 6 00 am It is due to be lifted on April 8.

Despite the satisfaction, Holness had a warning for those who would want to flout the law.

“For those who would want to violate, for those who would want to show hubris, that they can flout the law, the state of Jamaica is going to show, with deliberateness, that we can enforce our laws and that we will do it justly and with respect even for the lawbreaker,” said the prime minister.

In the meantime, amendments/modifications have been made to the Stay at Home Order by way of additional exemptions. They include the Independent Commission of Jamaica (INDECOM), the Cabinet Office and the Office of the Solicitor General.

Also, gas stations, which were allowed to remain open beyond 8:00 pm under the Order will now have to close by that time as, according to Holness, the police have indicated that they are being used as places where people gather “and a potential launching pad for a form of disorder”.

Despite the curfew which the prime minister admitted was stretching the capability of the police force, he warned that they were still targetting criminals. “We are still conducting the necessary operations and we are still interdicting and arresting criminals during this period of time,” he said.

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