Cancelling your tour the right thing, Mr Opposition LeaderThursday, February 11, 2021
We are relieved to see that Opposition Leader Mr Mark Golding has decided to call off the St James leg of his islandwide tour, even if belatedly, because of the worrying spike in the number of novel coronavirus cases.
If he is consistent, Mr Golding will postpone the remaining stops of his tour for the same reason, until the signs are clear that the surge is under control, or the COVID-19 vaccines are here and being successfully administered.
The country would expect this of the Opposition leader, in keeping with his patriotic duties, because he knows, like the rest of us, that it is difficult to keep away crowds when a party leader is visiting.
Otherwise, what would be the purpose of such a tour which is to meet and greet the party supporters who voted him into office in last year's presidential elections to replace Dr Peter Phillips?
It is even more important that Mr Golding does anything he can to assist the effort to keep Jamaica safe from this marauding virus, given that he believes that the Government's response is “ineffectual”, according to his press statement yesterday.
In that statement, he disclosed that the shadow Cabinet would be meeting with members of the medical profession to discuss “possible responses to the current spike in COVID-19 cases”.
We are interested to hear what those responses will be, and we wonder why the country has not been privy to them, assuming that the Opposition has such, and they agree that this is a national crisis that demands a national approach.
The fight against coronavirus must command the attention and resources of all sectors of Jamaicans in order to give our country a chance to recover as quickly as possible and for life to return to normal.
While the response by the Administration has not been perfect, its efforts so far must be commended because things could easily have been worse.
It is also encouraging to see the manner in which the public and private sectors have been collaborating on managing COVID-19.
We concur in this space with Mr Adam Stewart, the new head of the ATL/Sandals Group, in saying: “I think Jamaica has managed it better than most. The collaboration between public and private sector... I think we could learn a lot from that collaboration on other critical matters in the country.”
Mr Stewart, who is also chairman of this newspaper, gave testimony that: “We've taken COVID-19 very seriously; we've kept our eye on the ball economically. I have operations in 10 Caribbean countries and I think Jamaica really has done a fine job of that kind of collaboration.”
He singled out the medical fraternity, particularly the Ministry of Health, the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force for their hard work on behalf of the nation in supporting the health authorities.
Mr Stewart also noted that Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, and Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett deserve commendation for “striking the balance necessary to keep everyone safe, while keeping as many people employed as possible”.
“A lot of people have put in a lot of work over the last 11 months, and we must never forget to be appreciative of those people who kept us safe,” he said.
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