The Shadow Minister said, “The usual disaster management plan will undoubtedly need to be overhauled so that Jamaicans, especially the vulnerable, are not exposed to the dreaded coronavirus even as they try to secure their families and their properties.“
Should the island be faced with the threat of a hurricane, existing social distancing protocols will not be adequate to handle the realities of hurricane shelters and the protection of vulnerable citizens and communities, Dr Guy said.
He called on Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie, as well as Health and Wellness, Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, to inform the public of the steps to be taken to ensure that vulnerable Jamaicans are not pushed into a position of double jeopardy should there be the threat of a severe weather system to the island.
Dr Guy said the government should begin an urgent programme of public information, targeting residents in low lying areas and at-risk communities with critical information on safety issues and behaviour ahead of any disaster.
“The state has a responsibility to protect the people, and everything must be done now to prepare the population should the need arise. We cannot sit with our arms folded until a hurricane takes aim at Jamaica to spring into action. All practical and effective plans of action must be put in place, and the people properly informed, beginning now. Let us not be caught with our head in the sand,” Dr Guy said.
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