How they feel on Observer's WhatsApp & info line

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How they feel on Observer's WhatsApp & info line

Sunday, April 05, 2020

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JAMAICANS at home and abroad have been sharing their views and concerns via our newly launched WhatsApp info and tip line. One woman called from New York yesterday morning asking if there was any word on when incoming flights would be resumed. She longs to see her child who is here in Jamaica.

Here's some of what others have been saying:

Lockdown

“I think that the Government should put us on lockdown in the day, for a week. By restricting our movements in the day, it will help reduce the number of persons who contract the virus. Only people who need to be out should be seen on the streets. A week won't kill anyone, but the virus will. My husband is overseas and we want the best for everyone.”

“I think we need a total lockdown and only essential workers allowed to go out. I drove through downtown and when you look at Beckford Street it's jam-packed with people. And now today [April 3] I went to the tax office and they are not practising social distance. I almost fought someone to stay away from me. It's just not right.”

Financial support

“Didn't the prime minister say we were to get dues if we are being laid off due to COVID-19? I've been sent home and I got nothing, and I have bills.”

“I need clarity on the stimulus package for tourism workers. First question: If an employee is laid off for 120 days, the Government gives them $9,000 a fortnight for 120 days. If after 120 days an employer can only pay 50 per cent of the salary and the employee chooses not to return at this salary, are they made redundant and due redundancy pay? Second question: If the employer pays the 50 per cent salary now, does the Government still cover the $9,000 a fortnight for 120 days? Third question: Is furlough allowed right now, with an option to return in 120 days?”

“With all the COVID-19 now, some people out of work and some businesses closed; how are utility bills and rent (commercial and private) going to be paid? What is going to happen if someone gets evicted? I have a pregnant wife and we live in a rented apartment so it has crossed my mind. The prime minister is doing a good job though.”

Where are the cases

“Can you please confirm where in St Elizabeth the lady who tested positive for COVID-19 is from?”

“I have a concern. Why disclose [the communities] where the other COVID-19 cases are, and not [provide the same detailed information for cases from] Westmoreland, so we can be more vigilant about whoever we come into contact with? I am from Westmoreland and I would really like to have an idea where these cases are.”

Rules being flaunted

“I'm from Trafalgar in Bog Walk. There's a bar that refuses to close. Every day they are open and people from other communities are now gathering there. The bar operators know when the police are coming because they have people on the lookout in nearby communities. The worst part is the previous operator of the bar shut down and this person running it now is not even from Trafalgar. We need the police to come and do something about this.”

WhatsApp news tips to Jamaica Observer at (876) 588-0159.


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