Development Economist rejects suggestion to lockdown Jamaica due to COVID-19 surge

Chris Stokes, speaking Sunday on That's a Rap
Development Economist Chris Stokes says locking down Jamaica to control the spread of COVID-19 cases is not an option as it could decimate the economy.
Mr. Stokes, speaking Sunday on Radio Jamaica's That's a Rap, acknowledted that countries like New Zealand and Israel have been able to institute lockdowns, but asserted that this was not an option that Jamaica can realistically contemplate.
“We cannot print money to give people money to buy food and to pay for the necessities of life and... we cannot borrow money …to indebt ourselves to the extent that is necessary. And, this is against the background where we live largely in a hustling economy where you have to get up today and go out and find your bread,” Mr. Stokes noted.
Mr. Stokes conceded however that the surge in COVID-19 cases is alarming.
He said many Jamaicans are becoming fatigued however after one year of coronavirus mitigation measures.
“We were not inclined to be so self-disciplined to begin with...Many nations brought their cultures to the pandemic and the culture was not so supportive of fighting the pandemic. And the second thing, even among those who were willing and disciplined, it’s been a year…Mental issues are rampant. So the degree of difficulty has certainly escalated quite a bit,” Mr. Stokes observed.

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