JM | May 12, 2022

Guy takes aim at COVID-19 ‘mismanagement’ as fifth wave looms

Juanique Tennant

Juanique Tennant / Our Today

Dr Morais Guy, shadow minister of health and wellness.

With coronavirus cases again on the rise signalling what could be the early warning signs of a fifth wave, Dr Morais Guy, shadow minister of health and wellness, has taken aim at the Government’s perceived mismanagement of the pandemic.

Making his contribution to the 2022-2023 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 10), Guy stated: “There have been mixed reactions to the management of the pandemic by the Government over the past two years.

“There are many instances had the Government listened to some of the recommendations from different sectors of the society, including the Opposition and elements in the private sector, things would not have been as bad as they were.”

Referencing the Government’s latest round of decisions to suspend the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA), remove the need for pre-travel testing and lift the restrictions that mandated mask-wearing, the shadow minister slammed the actions as “short-sighted and reckless”.

A medical worker administers a COVID-19 test at a new testing site inside the Times Square subway station on December 27, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

He stated: “The Government made the foolish move contrary to all public health lessons to remove the mandatory wearing of masks in enclosed areas and instead made it a recommendation.”

He added: “Then to compound the issue, the Government also removed the requirement for pretesting of persons arriving from abroad. This was at a time when in the country’s largest travel market, the United States required visitors to their country to be pretested, and there was evidence of an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 Omicron B.A2 subvariant occurring in places such as New York City and Florida, two areas from which the bulk of Jamaican travellers originate.”

To make matters even worse, Guy highlighted that the Government’s removal of COVID-19 prevention and control measures coincided with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) reminder that the virus was still “a present danger and that proper public health measures were required to contain the pandemic”.

The shadow minister noted that this represents just another example of “the Government speaking out of two sides of its mouth.

“In one breath, it advocates that we follow WHO guidelines and, in another breath, it goes against the same guidelines and agency we have been wedded to for many years and, more so, during the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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