PM expected to speak on no-movement measure today

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is likely to announce additional measures in the country's response to the current spike in COVID-19 cases when the House of Representatives resumes this afternoon.

It is not clear whether he will respond to the crisis by extending the current no-movement days or announce other measures, but there are indications that new measures will be included in today's announcements.

There is the likelihood of amendments to the current Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) provisions, which have been the subject of discussions within the Cabinet for some time. However, Cabinet members contacted yesterday were reluctant to answer questions about the Government's intentions for the prolonged curfews.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie, who is responsible for the DRMA, told the Jamaica Observer that he was not in a position to discuss the Government's intentions.

The spread of the novel coronavirus has become a critical issue for the Government as it seeks to balance the need to increase economic activities, while acknowledging the threat of a wider spread, leading to increased hospitalisations and deaths.

Monday's meeting of the executive allowed Cabinet members to express their views on the way forward after the current measures end tonight. It has given Holness time to absorb the views of stakeholders and the advice of technocrats at the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management before delivering the response expected today.

— Balford Henry

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