Prime Minister Hints At Need To Get Toucher With Enforcement Of COVID-19 Protocols

PR – Prime Minister and Minister of National security, Dr. the Right  Honourable Keith Mitchell has identified a need to get tougher with the enforcement of  COVID-19 protocols.  

Dr. Mitchell’s comment comes against the backdrop of persons and businesses not fully  implementing or complying with the recommended protocols.  

During his interview on the television programme, Perspectives, Dr. Mitchell said, “We  have to be tougher in a general sense going forward, but we need everybody on board in  dealing with this.” 

The Prime Minister spoke specifically about facilities providing quarantine for returning  nationals and visitors, some of which he said did not operate as agreed, thereby creating  potential risks for persons. 

He said, “The problem of compliance extended to several quarantine facilities where  persons did not demonstrate the anticipated level of responsibility, forcing Government in  some instance to issue warnings.” 

Dr. Mitchell acknowledged that some have advocated for a full lockdown when the recent  cluster was detected, but lockdown he explained, has its own its repercussions. He said,  “One has to be extremely careful when you talk about limiting people’s basic freedom and  rights, you must have overriding reasons to do it. I believe we were doing reasonably okay and did not see the need to create other serious problems that could emanate from  lockdown.” 

The Prime Minister further explained his rationale. “In dealing with this major issue, there  are several dimensions that must be taken into consideration. Of course, the health issue  must be number one, but you cannot get away from the social consequences of the  decisions that we make because we are human beings. There are economic  considerations as well because we must have resources to take care of the problems that  we have, and if we cut off everything, we would not have resources and that would create  another problem in the society. And clearly, there are also political considerations 

because we are a multi-party democracy and therefore people have different views, so  we have to be careful in taking decisions and ensuring that people understand the  decisions that you make.” 

Dr. Mitchell also acknowledged the fluid nature of the pandemic and the need to  constantly adjust. He said, “The key thing going forward is what we do when people get  here so we may have to re-examine the quarantine procedures. We may have to re examine the question of testing after four days, maybe we have to use a much longer  period before we give medical clearance. It seems to me we have to re-examine our  procedures and protocols and make some changes that we believe are necessary to  protect the people of this country. This is a dynamic situation we are facing so we have  to adjust.” 

In all of this, Dr. Mitchell said, while Government has a responsibility to lead the fight against COVID-19, there must be compliance and everyone must be on board fighting  this dreaded disease.