Wayne Walker reports

Chairman of the Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group of the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, Professor Peter Figueroa, says the government’s easing of the curfew measures were not calibrated efficiently.

His comments come in the wake of an uptick in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness warned on Wednesday that the government will likely re-impose tighter COVID-19 restrictions after a Cabinet subcommittee meeting this weekend.

In light of the looming possibility of the feared covid-19 Delta Variant arriving on Jamaican shores, the country has seen a steady increase in infections for the month of July with 62 cases being recorded per day.

The increase comes following the July 1 relaxation of the curfew measures and the reopening of the entertainment sector.

Professor Figueroa told Nationwide News on Thursday that while he was not against easing the restrictions the government should’ve been more calculating in its approach.

He added that the government may need to consider taking local steps to contain an uncomfortable increase in parishes like Westmoreland and Hanover.

Professor Figueroa also highlighted that if vaccination is low there could be a major surge in cases as a result of the covid-19 Delta Variant.

He says with the current covid-19 figures the country is on the path to the third wave if preventive measures aren’t taken.

Meanwhile, Professor Figueroa emphasized that it’s now important that the Jamaican population is inoculated so children can resume face-to-face learning.

He says children missing school for a second year could have adverse effects on the country’s future.

Professor Peter Figueroa, Chairman of the Pan American Health Organization’s Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group.

In the meantime, Executive Director of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, PSOJ, Imega Breese-McNab echoed Professor Figueroa’s call for a targeted approach to communities deemed COVID hot spots.

She further highlighted that at this juncture, the PSOJ believes the government should use the covid-19 data to assess the country’s next plan of action.

Imega Breese-McNab, Executive Director of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica.