Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the country will face no more lockdowns.
Tensions were high ahead of this morning’s briefing as many anticipated that Holness would again impose more tightened curfew measures amid a fourth wave of the coronavirus.
Holness, while addressing a press briefing on Sunday, said he has “gone overboard to say that we are not going back to lockdowns” and urged Jamaicans to “be calm.”
But Holness, who was responding to a question on his strategy in light of the increase in COVID cases, said the primary focus in containing the spread of the virus now lies with individual responsibility.
“I wasn’t planning on turning this into a COVID Conversation, but I know there is great tension in the air and what it says to me is that people are not listening to what I have said. I have been very clear in Parliament, very clear, absolutely gone overboard to say that we are not going back to lockdowns, so be calm. And I have said what the (containment) strategy is. It is now in your hands. Go and take the vaccine. That is the strategy,” Holness shared.
“We can’t hold yuh down and put the needle in your hand. If yuh get sick, you take that responsibility,” he continued. “There is an option, we have vaccines all over the place. We have sites all over the place. I don’t hear one person complain that they can’t get the vaccine anywhere. Go and get vaccinated. Argument done,” he ended.
Jamaica on Friday reported 1, 593 new COVID-19 cases, a new record high for the island since the start of the pandemic. Friday’s numbers marked the third consecutive day the country recorded more than 1000 positive cases. There are now 7,229 confirmed active COVID cases on the island.