Source: Jamaica Gleaner
If what was seen on the streets of St James is an indication of what is the come in the lead-up to the September 3 general election, the fear that coronavirus (COVID-19) could significantly impact Jamaica could well become a devastating reality.
Contrary to the protocols agreed to by the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), supporters of both parties flaunted the protocols as they crammed in buses and cars without masks in many cases and with little or no regards to social distancing.
When a member of the campaign team for Heroy Clarke, the incumbent member of parliament for St James Central was asked about the supporters in the jam-packed crowd of party loyalists, who were not wearing masks, she said they were not only encouraged to wear masks but were actually provided with the masks.
“You know how some of these people are, they have the masks in the hands but they have not been using them in accordance with the protocol,” she said. “We just have to keep encouraging them to do the right thing because this COVID is a dangerous thing.”
Marjorie Morgan, the returning officer for Central St James, was quite proactive in her preparation for the nomination day exercise, creating a sterile zone outside of nomination centre, which was strongly manned by members of the security forces.
“I have created this sterile zone because I need to ensure that the nomination centre is kept safe,” said Morgan. “I believe the arrangements for the candidates and the media are quite suitable so we should not have a problem with any breaching of the COVID-19 protocols.”
While the party supporters seemed unconcerned about the health breaches around them, some bystanders were clearly not pleased with the level of recklessness.
“When this nomination finish, COVID going beat like a drum...we are careless and stupid set of people,” an elderly woman said, as she used her hand to create greater protection over her mask. “These politicians are not leaders they are jokers.”
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