Thursday 26 November, 2020

Tufton believes country doing well with COVID, but warns about Xmas

Dr Christopher Tufton (File photo)

Dr Christopher Tufton (File photo)

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, is cautioning Jamaicans to reduce their usual Christmas activities, despite expressing the belief that the island is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic well.

Speaking at the weekly Thursday evening COVID-19 press briefing, Tufton said all the indications are trending in the right direction, but this could change depending on the population’s behaviour over the Christmas period.

“We are seeing now a decline in cases, a decline in deaths, even having over the last week a couple of days when we have had zero deaths and that is amazingly excellent news.

“It’s just a good thing for us as a society to take some pride, and I am talking now the entire society because it is really up to every single one of us at all levels, that we see this positive direction of the COVID response,” said Tufton.

He indicated that he had met virtually with church umbrella organisations earlier on Thursday and was pleased with the efforts of the churches to help in the reduction of the virus.

He said the churches are expected to play a vital role in the fight, as they are in all communities across the island.

“We have Christmas coming on soon. It is the season to be jolly, they say. An important event in the Christian calendar, and we are a Christian country.

“They (churches) have been up-to-date and I want to commend them, our church leaders, but Christmas season is normally the season when we have persons coming home, moving around, family gatherings, friends coming together, activities.

“I just want to say to the country, this Christmas may actually be a Christmas that has to vary in terms of some of those activities,” stated Tufton.

He said the Cabinet sub-committee on COVID-19, which is chaired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, was scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss ways to tackle the Christmas season.

Tufton said among the discussions would be the measures to be taken, expectations, impact and how the general public can participate in reducing the spread and possibly a spike during and after the season.

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