Guy questions whether Mocha Fest is responsible for COVID-19 spike in Hanover and WestmorelandWednesday, July 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition spokesman on health, Dr Morais Guy, has questioned whether Mocha Fest, which was staged in clear breach of the health protocols, is responsible for a spike in COVID-19 cases in the western parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland.
“What is important and would require an explanation prime minister is why is it that we're seeing in the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland, per capita the highest numbers in terms of COVID,” said Guy.
He made the comments on Wednesday as he responded to a statement from Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in the House of Representatives on the likelihood that the Government may be forced to re-impose stricter COVID-19 measures ahead of August 10.
Holness gave the warning as he noted that 122 cases of the coronavirus were recorded on Tuesday. This marked the first time in two months that the island was recording more than 100 cases of the respiratory virus in a single day.
Holness also noted that the island's positivity rate was close to 10 per cent.
Guy, a medical doctor by training, said that “Although a particular event occurred six/seven weeks ago, which was Mocha Fest, the reality is that I'm wondering, we're wondering if that has any bearing on what we're seeing now in terms of the numbers”.
“And if it is, it is an indication of what may happen in terms of other events to happen across the entire island (over the Emancipendence holidays),” Guy added.
On June 22, two managers of Rick's café, a tourist hotspot in Negril, Westmoreland, pleaded not guilty to breaches of the Disaster Risk Management Act and other breaches in the Westmoreland parish court.
The two — operations manager, Thomas Martin, and financial controller, Conroy Barrett, were booked to return to court on August 9.
The two were accused of hosting the popular Mocha Fest at the property in late May. Jamaicans were enraged when videos of the event were widely circulated on social media, showing hundreds of maskless party goers, said to be tourists, breaching COVID protocols.
The government was accused of double standards since the local entertainment sector was still shuttered.
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