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Name them, shame them!

Tufton wants people flouting COVID-19 protocols to be identified and shamed

Observer writer

Thursday, October 15, 2020

LUCEA, Hanover - Disgusted at the behaviour of those who refuse to observe COVID-19 guidelines as part of efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton wants such people to be publicly identified and shamed, where possible.

“We are going to have to name and shame some people. We are going to have to expose them in their respective spaces, to say that you are coming in this facility - the church, the town hall [or] whatever it is - boss, you don't have on your mask, we are uncomfortable being around you,” the health and wellness minister argued.

The minister said such a move could assist in driving the message home, stressing that he is “depending on the public to be a part of the solution”.

Dr Tufton, who was addressing a Western Jamaica Community Leaders Meeting held at the Noel Holmes Hospital Conference Room in Hanover recently, said he wants “more people to be a part of policing the laws”.

He argued that the enforcement of the laws cannot be undertaken by the Government alone, but all should play their part through a combined effort of moral suasion, the implementation of laws and the enforcement of the laws.

The minister added that the wearing of a mask is still seen as one of the most effective ways to deal with the spread of the virus.

“However, there are concerns about people not observing the rules and as such, there is a need for the laws to be stronger,” the minister emphasised.

Dr Tufton further argued that while the police have charged people found in breach of not wearing masks, there are anomalies in the interpretation of the law.

He reiterated that the Government is currently seeking clarification on the matter.

“That is why the prime minister [Andrew Holness] and the rest of us have said…the prime minister has asked for clarity in the law through the Minister of Justice [Delroy Chuck] and the AG's [Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo Forte] department. And that is being worked on, and we hope that in a short while over the next week or two greater clarity will be brought to bear on exactly what are the punitive measures for persons who don't wear masks in public [spaces],” said Dr Tufton.

Up to yesterday, the country had recorded 151 COVID-19 deaths, while the number of confirmed cases stood at 7,989.