Gov't must accept responsibility for role in mismanagement of COVID-19 crisis — Guy

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Gov't must accept responsibility for role in mismanagement of COVID-19 crisis — Guy

Friday, August 07, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition spokesman on Health and Wellness, Dr Morais Guy, is urging the government to embrace accountability in its mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic instead of seeking to transfer blame to the Jamaican people for the crisis in which the nation has plunged.

Responding to the spike in new coronavirus cases, Dr Guy said there had been many unheeded warnings from the Opposition and several other stakeholders to take into account common-sense measures and to foster an atmosphere of inclusiveness as a response to forging a national approach.

“The government must embrace accountability and not blame the people. There is no proper monitoring system in place for persons quarantined, as many continue to breach the order with impunity. Persons coming into the island were left on their own to interact with communities and attend events with no provision for sanctions. This kind of carelessness would automatically lead to community spread,” Dr Guy said.

The shadow minister said the near-panic reaction to the spike and the two new quarantine areas announced were avoidable had the government taken advice and had a more inclusive policy.

He said the prime minister's unseemly attempt to apportioning blame on the people instead of taking responsibility could not be allowed to stand.

“This government chose to focus on public relations gimmicks, creating a false narrative, giving the impression that they had things under control, leading people to believe that they were safe, hence the protocols, which were late in coming, were largely observed in the breach,” Dr Guy said.

He said the calls for pretesting of people entering the island with the reopening of the borders were ignored and even a decision to test on entry was eventually abandoned.

He noted that thousands of samples were collected with no test results available for months, rendering them useless, and said many persons who were tested left the island before results were available. While this was happening, the nation was assured that test results would have been available within 24 -48 hours after testing, the shadow minister pointed out.

Dr Guy added that the first responders and health care workers are still short of adequate supplies of personal protective gears, even as the number of hospitalisations surges.

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