Following the announcement of special containment measures for St. Catherine by the Most Honourable Prime Minister yesterday, the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has implemented heightened sanitary and security protocols for all the facilities in the parish for which it is responsible.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Hon. Desmond McKenzie says the interests of the elderly and the homeless have been specially emphasized. “We have intensified the management of all the care procedures at the St. Catherine Infirmary. All authorized persons who come to the facility, whether as service providers or staff, will in addition to the sanitizing requirements have their temperatures checked every time. This is not optional. We have also established special measures to secure the Infirmary. I also wish to re-emphasize that all markets in St. Catherine are closed.”
SPECIAL HELPLINE ESTABLISHED TO ASSIST THE ELDERLY
The RONA Helpline Senior Care Response initiative has been designed to help senior citizens with:
1. Medical care assistance including transportation to health care facilities for urgent care and non-financial assistance to obtain medication.
2. Non-financial assistance to obtain groceries from supermarkets, markets etc.
3. Other critical or urgent needs on a case by case basis.
For St. Catherine, the Helpline number is 876-907-4056. The Ministry’s contact numbers in this regard are 876-618-8218, 876-879-8948, 876-879-8950.
Minister McKenzie says enhanced arrangements have been made to care for the 171 homeless people in St. Catherine. “We have organized our efforts around specific locations in Spanish Town, Linstead and Old Harbour, to take our homeless population off the streets of the parish and to keep them indoors during the period of the lockdown.
We will continue to feed them twice per day and attend to their hygiene needs and test their temperatures, in keeping with the special island-wide programme that we started on March 29.”
SPECIAL PUBLIC HAND WASHING MACHINES TO BE INSTALLED THROUGH MINISTRY/ PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP WITH DIGICEL
The Local Government and Community Development Minister says 100 special foot-operated hand-washing machines, valued at J$3.5 million will soon be available for public use. “This special partnership between the Ministry and Digicel, will result in these machines being in the island in the next few weeks. We will be placing them in various strategic locations around the country, as we emphasize personal hygiene in the fight against COVID-19.”
MLGCD CONTINUES TO IMPLEMENT SPECIAL AND GENERAL INITIATIVES AND OPERATIONS
Minister McKenzie stressed that the Ministry and its Agencies continue to perform essential functions, such as public cleansing.
“The National Solid Waste Management Authority is still working to provide a clean environment. With special reference to St. Catherine, uniformed employees are on the job, and arrangements have been made to give the contractors who have to drive around the parish to collect the garbage, the required documentation to facilitate their movement.”
“The Ministry is also spending J$3 million, to purchase 6 weeks’ supply of agricultural produce through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, to assist in our efforts to feed the residents in our fifteen Infirmaries and Golden Age Homes, and the homeless population across Jamaica.”
“I appeal to the people of St. Catherine to co-operate fully with all the measures announced, so that COVID-19 can be effectively rallied against. I appeal more widely to the people of Jamaica, to treat this disease with the seriousness it deserves, and to practice personal responsibility as the key to preventing and containing it.”