In the days going forward, the National Secretariat of the COVID-19 Task Force (NCTFS) will move to stricter enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines and measures, to keep the population safe until a vaccine becomes available.
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony on Thursday stressed that many people have been complaining about the need for greater enforcement of the guidelines, driving these efforts.
“Most people have been complaining that we don’t have enforcement as rigidly as we should and I think it’s important that we reinforce these messages, because unless we have a vaccine and we people would then have to take the preventative measures, ”explained Dr Anthony.
The Ministry and the NCTFS rely on the cooperation and cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure that measures can be used more effectively. Shared Services will expand their current campaign and visit communities that have allegedly broken national protocols.
The Task Force has also written several business organizations that have violated the guidelines through their operations. The Health Minister stated that, should this continue, action would be taken.
“Once we have them in place and they are working, we will see a reduction in the cases we have … I’m sure Shared Services will talk more about this , but it’s actually up to the level of what they’ve been doing: getting out, visiting more often and reaching out to those places that have been breaking the protocols, ”he explained.
While acknowledging that it was months since people started living in this new norm, the Minister said that the main priority was to reduce associated infections and deaths.
“I fully understand that it’s going on a year now that people have been asked to use masks and take all these different measures. Sometimes it can be daunting to take all these measures, but we do it not because we want to inconvenience people but because we want to protect people, ”the Health Minister stressed.
Last November, some 42 businesses were issued warnings of breaches of national measures.
A final warning, the Secretariat, was also issued to a further 20 businesses operating outside the required guidelines.
Urgent measures shall be made in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) (b) of the Direction by the President, issued under the Public Health Ordinance, Cap 145, and published in the Gazette, Legal Supplement – B, March 16, 2020 The order expires on January 31, 2021 unless extended by the Ministry of Health.
The Government would have made a rapid assessment of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and found it to be fragmented and incapable of administering the public, economic and social health measures needed to keep the population safe. The order stated that current measures have been extended to allow for further assessments and consultations to develop updated protocols to assist in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
In October last year, the Government launched Operation COVI-CURB in collaboration with the Private Sector, civil society groups and volunteers. It uses education, moral upheaval and enforcement to bring the public into compliance with the COVID-19 gazetted order.