Dennis Chung and Jermaine Spencer
Financial analyst Dennis Chung has said the period for an effective lock down of the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus has passed.
Mr. Chung is of the view that this should have been done when the health crisis started.
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told Jamaicans to prepare for a complete lock down of the country.
But Mr. Chung said if a lock down is put in place, it would have to be for a longer period, which would not be feasible for the economy.
He argued instead that what is necessary is strict enforcement of the regulations that are already in place - "so if someone reports that someone is violating the order, you move in your personnel right away and lock up that person."
Political analyst Jermaine Spencer agreed that a lock down is too costly, pointing out that most governments are beginning to recognise this.
He and Mr. Chung were guests Wednesday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.
Mr. Chung said the focus of the government should be on identifying sectors which can be protected.
He said agriculture and public transportation can help to boost the economy.
In terms of agriculture, he suggested that food normally produced to supply the tourism sector be redirected to the export market, especially to countries that are no longer able to get their food from the United States. In addition, he said some of the food should be directed locally to cut down on the billions of dollars spent on imports yearly.
Where public transportation is concerned, he suggested using it to eliminate the need for private transportation as much as possible, which will save the country's oil bill.
Further, he recommended a restart of the local economy by getting people to be less fearful so they will restart spending.
He gave his outlook on the impact
Mr. Chung painted a grim outlook of the Jamaican economy if the outbreak of coronavirus lasts three months, pointing out that no income and owed money will cause a negative snowball effect.
But he argued that the only way to limit the effect of the crisis on the economy is to rid people of the fear of the virus.
Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke has predicted that Jamaica will experience a massive shock to the economy due to the coronavirus.