PNP wants disaster plan reflecting realities of COVID-19

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PNP wants disaster plan reflecting realities of COVID-19

Sunday, August 02, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — People's National Party (PNP) spokesman on health and wellness, Dr Morais Guy, is calling for a “properly choreographed” disaster management protocol to be put in place and disseminated to the public.

Dr Guy said that this is essential to ensure the safety of Jamaicans, as the nation prepares for the hurricane season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The usual disaster management plan will undoubtedly need to be overhauled so that Jamaicans, especially the vulnerable, are not exposed to the dreaded coronavirus even as they try to secure their families and their properties,” the spokesman said in a statement today.

“Should the island be faced with the threat of a hurricane, existing social distancing protocols will not be adequate to handle the realities of hurricane shelters and the protection of vulnerable citizens and communities,” he added.

Dr Guy called on Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, and Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, to inform the public of the protocol to ensure that vulnerable Jamaicans are not endangered should there be the threat of a severe weather system to the island.

He also said that the Government should immediately begin a public information programme, targeting residents in low lying areas and at-risk communities, to arm them with critical information on safety issues and behaviour ahead of any disaster.

“The state has a responsibility to protect the people, and everything must be done now to prepare the population should the need arise. We cannot sit with our arms folded until a hurricane takes aim at Jamaica to spring into action,” Dr Guy said.

“All practical and effective plans of action must be put in place, and the people properly informed, beginning now. Let us not be caught with our head in the sand,” he added.

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