Saturday 30 May, 2020

Jamaicans urged to change practices and lifestyles amid COVID-19

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Cristopher Tufton, speaks at the presentation of 20 hospital beds by Unicomer (Courts) Jamaica Limited to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, on May 8, at the company’s distribution centre in St Andrew.

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Cristopher Tufton, speaks at the presentation of 20 hospital beds by Unicomer (Courts) Jamaica Limited to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, on May 8, at the company’s distribution centre in St Andrew.

Jamaicans are being encouraged to adjust practices and lifestyles to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The call comes from Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, who said the virus is expected to remain in the country for some time.

Tufton was speaking at the presentation of 20 hospital beds by Unicomer (Courts) Jamaica Limited to the Ministry of Health and Wellness on May 8 at the company’s distribution centre in St Andrew.

“We need to adjust our practices and lifestyles to this ‘new normal’. The truth is that we are not going to get rid of COVID-19. Over time, what we have to do is to adjust and find ways to manage and control the virus, whether through a vaccine or other forms of care. It is going to mean living with the virus, not eliminating COVID-19, in the near future,” he said.

With the virus now at the stage of community transmission, the minister urged members of the public to do their part to prevent transmission by following the established safety protocols and co-operating with health officials who are conducting contact tracing.

“What that means for society in general is that new norms and new practices are going to have to be instituted in our everyday life to mitigate the risk of the virus,” the minister added.

He challenged Jamaicans across all sectors to be proactive in finding solutions to addressing the social issues caused by the virus.

“It is understandable why people are fearful now, because it is new and we are still searching for solutions at all levels, but over time, businesses are going to have to respond with creativity and deliberateness to provide solutions to restore some kind of normality that creates new standards of protection, whether in your personal space or in the public space,” Tufton said.

“We should not think of COVID-19 as a death sentence, as a lifelong threat. We must look for the opportunities in the crisis. Let us adjust to this new normal in how we live and try to find ways to make the lives of our fellow Jamaicans better,” he argued.

As at May 13, there were 509 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the island. Of that number, 113 have recovered and nine persons have died.

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