Tighter restrictions for red-flagged Corporate Area communities

Tighter restrictions for red-flagged Corporate Area communities

Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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THE 18 Corporate Area communities red-flagged by health authorities last week, following the discovery of coronavirus cases that couldn't be definitively linked to a source, are to come under tighter restrictions and policing.

The communities of Duhaney Park, Patrick Gardens, Pembroke Hall, Cooreville, New Haven, Arlene Gardens, Hughenden, State Gardens, Ziadie Gardens, Barbican, Molynes Gardens, Constant Spring, Meadowbrook, Havendale, Delacree Park, Olympic Gardens, Waltham Gardens, and the Half-Way-Tree area were last week said to be on the radar of the Health and Wellness Ministry.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, addressing a virtual press briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew, said a new order is to be put into effect by this Thursday to give the police the authority to direct people from these areas, who have no real business outside their homes, to return home.

“We are seeing a clustering of cases occurring within a number of communities in the Corporate Area. We have decided that we will take some additional measures for these communities. Effective Thursday, August 27, persons will be required to remain at home — which means staying in their yard space — outside of curfew hours.

“Even within the curfew hours, we will put in place an order which will give the police the authority to, if you are seen loitering in a public space, you could be required to return home,” Holness said.

He, however, noted that since the areas are not under quarantine, residents in these communities will be allowed to leave home to go to work, purchase food, medical supplies, access medical services, and conduct business and financial transactions.

“However, if you are going to go out for no good reason, you will be required to return to your abode,” he said.

The prime minister said the list of communities, along with the defined boundaries, will be released today, while further “discouraging persons from interacting with others who are not a part of their immediate household”.

In the meantime, Holness said the police have already charged and prosecuted more than 1,000 people under the Disaster Risk Management Act.

In noting that while this has not been publicised in order to reduce stigma, the prime minister warned that this strategy could change.

“More and more it appears that more needs to be made of it. We intend to increase significantly the levels of enforcement and prosecution, particularly for persons who have been allowed to enter the island and are not maintaining the quarantine,” Holness said.

In addition to the 116 new cases announced on Sunday, the Government yesterday said there was an additional 83 new cases, bringing the total to 1,612 confirmed cases to date. There are 53 people hospitalised, including 45 positive COVID-19 cases. Some 45 people have been isolated in government facilities, while 604 are isolated at home, 15 quarantined in government facilities, and 29,724 quarantined at home.

And, the islandwide curfew has been tightened and will now begin at 9:00 pm and end at 5:00 am the following day, effective Thursday, August 27, until September 30.

This applies to all parishes, excluding St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, and Clarendon, where the curfew commences at 7:00 pm and ends at 5:00 am the following day. These parishes will continue under that regime until September 2, and thereafter be consistent with that of the other parishes until September 30.

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