Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton has sought to reiterate the importance of mask-wearing following Buju Banton’s social media COVID19 Saga.
The Grammy-winning entertainer took to his Instagram account on Wednesday blasting the Government of Jamaica for making mask-wearing mandatory.
“Jamaican people need fi wake up! and mi done wid the f__kery,” he echoed, “Mi nah wear no mask, because mask nuh mek fi man,” Banton added before chanting freedom for the Jamaican people.
The Jamaican reggae icon who has been struggling to regain and maintain mainstream musical success also spoke of Jamaicans who partake in selling their votes to politicians; Micheal Jackson & Bill Cosby various legal sagas and in the ‘truthful spiritual’ Rastafarian fashion sought to ‘liberate his people’.
According to Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness Report dated October 20th, 2020, the reggae island has reported a total of 8,445 confirmed cases, 71 of which was in the past 24 hours and almost 200 deaths. Read report here.
Speaking during the weekly COVID-19 virtual press conference on Thursday, Tufton responded saying, “As it relates to the public pronouncements by individuals, and in some instances by popular personalities, around not wearing masks, our position is very clear.”
“The public health position is that mask wearing in public is useful, it is an important part of the response to COVID and to restricting the spread of the virus.”
The minister noted that mask wearing has been sanctioned by a number of international bodies with leaders of countries around the world adopting the measure to protect their citizens from the pandemic.
“This is a clinical position that is not only endorsed, advanced and supported by us here in Jamaica, but by most countries throughout the world, I would say all countries,” he continued.
“I don’t know of a country in the world that it is preaching or suggesting otherwise and certainly in terms of the multilateral partners in public health, the World Health Organisations, the Pan American Health Organisation all have advanced as a policy, encouraged, prescribed that mask wearing in public should be a practice.”
Tufton said that while there has been some uncertainty regarding the enforcement mechanisms regarding the wearing of masks in Jamaica, the government is seeking to make the penalties more specific. He said Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte and Justice Minister Delroy Chuck are currently working on that.
“We are very confident that it is the right thing to do and we certainly would encourage Jamaicans to comply and this is why this is part of the law, as contained in the orders and we will continue to push that message because we think it is the right thing to do.”