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Send a hard message to those defying coronavirus warnings

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

There are always going to be those self-centred individuals in society who couldn't care less about the well-being of others and insist on doing whatever it is that, as the saying goes, floats their boat.

It is the duty of the Government to act expeditiously to protect the society from the misdeeds of such individuals. We are therefore relieved that the entertainers known as Elephant Man and Bad Boy Trevor have been charged for breaching the Immigration Act and the Disaster Risk Management Act.

Elephant Man, whose real name is Oneil Bryan, is accused of not declaring that he had travelled to Germany where, up to Jamaica Observer press time, 29,056 people had tested positive for coronavirus, or COVID-19, and 123 had died.

The entertainer is to face the courts on April 15, 2020, which we regard as a long time, given the need to send a strong message to others who are of like mind.

Actor Garfield Reid, who goes by the moniker Bad Boy Trevor, is in hot water for staging a pool party, a video of which has gone viral showing scores of skimpily-clad girls mingling and merry-making with wild abandon.

From what we can see, this COVID-19 crisis is intensifying and will not be over any time soon. Hence the need for every Jamaican to take the greatest care and to co-operate in a national effort to slow the spread of the virus here.

The most powerful countries on Earth are taking some of the most stringent actions to curb COVID-19 and are increasingly warning their citizens of punitive actions for careless behaviour that could endanger others.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday joined countries in telling his compatriots he would punish anyone who flouted the new and very stringent restrictions the country has just instituted against the coronavirus.

Interestingly, he acted after widespread criticisms abut his laissez-fair response to the highly contagious disease, by announcing a virtual lockdown of the country, closing all non-essential shops, banning meetings of more than two people, and requiring people to stay in their homes, except for trips for food or medicine.

Most European leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, had already taken such steps, as the virus blazed a deadly trail across the continent.

Up to yesterday Britain had registered 6,650 cases, with 335 deaths. Italy has had to get firm after becoming the worst-hit European country, at 63,927 cases and suffering an astounding 6,077 deaths from COVID-19.

Italy has become a special case for the number of deaths wreaked by the virus, when compared with China's 3,270 from 81,093 cases. The country has been criticised for the 'don't-care' attitude displayed when the virus first arrived and long after.

The US is growing increasingly desperate, threatening more and more stringent actions against citizens as confirmed cases climbed to 42,839, and 522 deaths, and causing even President Donald Trump to second-guess the level of restrictions being implemented.

Here, too many Jamaicans have not taken the virus seriously, including some churches where worshippers could be seen mingling as if they had not a care in the world. This is acting without wisdom.