For us in the English-speaking Caribbean, we most certainly can take no comfort in the fact that no confirmed case has as yet been reported. The coronavirus is inching closer every day, as evidenced by cases in the Dominican Republic and St Barth over the weekend
However tempting it is, countries and organisations, including political parties, must resist with might and main a non-collaborative approach in the fight to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The world has a vested interest in defeating this disease which, in only six weeks since the lockdown in China, has shown its terrible potential to set back the global economy and devastate especially small economies like Jamaica‘s. This virus truly is no respecter of persons.
Largely because of its autocratic leadership and its sketchy record on human rights, China is viewed with scepticism in many countries. Still, in this fight against COVID-19, all countries must be at one. With the global death toll over 3,000, it clearly is no longer a Chinese problem.
Indeed, the world needs China to be successful in containing the virus in the shortest possible time. We should all hope and pray that the Chinese leadership remains calm and resolute, not giving way to panic and frustration in what is nothing less than a war.
China and the rest of the world must collaborate, share data on the profile of the disease, and employ the best means of battling this so far resilient virus.
For example, we have been informed by the international media that children aged zero to nine years have escaped its wrath, and it is the over-50 age cohort that has been affected. Every bit of information is critical.
For us in the English-speaking Caribbean, we most certainly can take no comfort in the fact that no confirmed case has as yet been reported. The coronavirus is inching closer every day, as evidenced by cases in the Dominican Republic and St Barth over the weekend.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has upgraded the risk of coronavirus disease transmission from low to “moderate to high” because of the increased risk of importation to the region.
CARPHA noted that while there have been no confirmed cases of the disease in the (Commonwealth) Caribbean thus far, “transmission of the virus has been reported in territories with direct flights to Caribbean states”.
The regional agency has also urged health authorities to “shift their mindset from preparedness to readiness and rapid response and continue to do all that is necessary to strengthen their capacity to respond to possible importation of cases”.
We join the agency’s call on regional countries to increase their capacity for surveillance and to adapt their national pandemic preparedness plans to this current situation as a matter of urgency.
Closer home, in Jamaica, we applaud the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) on its official decision to participate in a national response to “the threat of the coronavirus and the possible financial fallout which could wipe out a number of countries’ economies across the world”.
That is what should be expected from a loyal Opposition.
What it will not gain marks for, however, is its language in declaring: “We are willing toâ¦ guide the Government through the economic crisis, crime and the corona crisis.”
From a communication standpoint, no Government will want to be seen as being “guided” through any crises by an Opposition. Please get serious, PNP.
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