J'cans on board with cancellation of mass gatherings — survey

J'cans on board with cancellation of mass gatherings — survey

Saturday, October 24, 2020

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MOST Jamaicans agree with the postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and events as a means of limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus, a survey by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has found.

STATIN sampled more than 70 individuals from over 15 organisations in a survey to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices among Jamaicans. The data was gathered between the end of April and mid-June — a few months into the country's COVID-19 crisis.

Of those surveyed, 80 per cent felt mass gatherings, such as parties, sporting events, weddings, and funerals, should be cancelled or postponed to limit the spread of the virus.Meanwhile, half said workplaces and businesses should close temporarily to reduce the risk of employees being infected, and, at the same time, 20 per cent felt there should be a lockdown of the country.

Ten per cent of those questioned said they felt there was nothing they could do to prevent themselves and their families from contracting COVID-19, while just over 90 per cent said individuals should avoid contact with communities where infected individuals live.

According to the report, just over 80 per cent of individuals also said they believed public health authorities are doing enough to control the spread of the virus, and that over 90 per cent agreed with self-isolation for up to two weeks for those who have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Almost all said they felt the COVID-19 outbreak is dangerous.

The report said, too, that 34 per cent felt their communities were at risk because people were not taking the virus seriously, and over 30 per cent said they do not practise social distancing, while 15 per cent said their communities were overcrowded, and another 14.2 per cent said that someone in their community or a nearby community had COVID-19.In the meantime, the survey found that individuals have been using various home remedies to treat COVID-19.These range from traditional or familiar potions such as garlic tea, salt water, honey, turmeric, lime, orange peel tea, vegetables, warm lemon water, cayenne, fever grass, peppermint, vinegar, papaya leaves, rum, eucalyptus oil, and lemon peel to preparations such as dog blood tea, “John crow batty”, Spanish needle tea, cow feet leaves, donkey weed, and others like guinea hen weed, dandelion root, vapour rub, burrydock root, Christmas tree leaves, and marijuana tea.

— Alphea Saunders

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