Greater focus is being placed on how the vulnerable will cope while efforts are being made to contain COVID-19. Local municipalities will now be catering to the needs of the elderly and homeless plus students on the poor relief programme.

Increased efforts are being made to contain COVID-19 before it spirals further out of control. Regionally, figures are climbing as countries race to close borders and declare a total lockdown to protect their people. The local government ministry has now moved to establish a series of policy programmes with the primary focus on those in infirmaries and the poor.

“The objective of the ministry is to secure the integrity of the vulnerable in the population, in our infirmaries as well as those who interact with them,” says Local Government and Community Development minister, Desmond Mckenzie. ” Protect the indoor poor, those registered with poor relief department as well as the outdoor poor.”

The ban on visits to infirmaries has been extended from 14 days to 30, new patients will have to wait 60 days before they’re admitted. An isolation area was announced along with additional provisions for accommodating social cases.

The Vineyard Town Goldenage Home will be used as one of these facilities.

“[It is ] approximately five to 6 rooms that can house about 35 persons who we regard as social cases,” says Delroy Williams, Mayor of Kingston.

With regards to care for the homeless, the local government minister says areas at drop in centres across the island will be made available to test these individuals those affected by COVID-19.