Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has sought to reassure members of the entertainment sector that they will not be targeted in the review of Covid-19 prevention measures this weekend.
The COVID-19 sub-committee of Cabinet has scheduled a meeting for today, to discuss the uptick in cases of the virus and, among other things, determine whether there may be need to tighten some of the prior to their expiration on August 10.
Promoters have said they are in a wait and see mode, while one has called for the Government to step up its enforcement of the measures, rather than adjusting them.
McKenzie says there is no evidence to support commentary that the entertainment sector is to be blamed for the increase in Covid cases.
“I just want to give the assurance to the sector that we consider it important in my own constituency, it is an industry that provides livelihood. So we are bot going to be singling the entertainment sector for any blame. What we need now is a collective response from all Jamaicans and whatever will come out of what will be said next week, will be done after we have looked at the facts and consider where we are as a country.”
He also urged Jamaicans to obey the protocols, adding that the country cannot remain under restrictions.
“We will rely on the Jamaican people to ensure that they play their part in following the protocols, observing the social distancing, the hand sanitizing and if you feel sick “tan a yuh yard” . We cannot place the blame on any sector.”
The Local Government Minister has also reacted to criticism that the Government acted hastily in relaxing the Covid measures last month.
“The government will not get into an argument with that. As a government we have to look into the facts and take decisions and whatever comes out of the meeting of the Cabinet next week - it will be better for the country and not to penalize any sector.”
Others have also weighed in on the timing of lifting of restrictions.
According to the President of the Medical Association of Jamaica, Dr Andrew Manning, the measures should have been relaxed more gradually.
And the President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, John Mahfood says the Government got it wrong and should have taken note of the spike in cases in other countries which have higher vaccination rates.