Manch­ester MC to set up COVID iso­la­tion ar­eas in hur­ri­cane shel­ters

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ta­mara Bai­ley/Gleaner Writer editorial@glean­erjm.com

MANDEVILLE, MANCH­ESTER : MAYOR OF Mandeville Dono­van Mitchell has said that the Manch­ester Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion has been mak­ing plans for the ac­tive hur­ri­cane sea­son de­spite the im­pli­ca­tions of the COVID-19 pan­demic.

“The nor­mal prepa­ra­tion can­not be the same. For our shel­ters, we now have to think about iso­la­tion ar­eas if some­one is pos­i­tive for COVID or be­comes ill dur­ing the pe­riod. Dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of prepa­ra­tion are now be­ing put in place,” Mitchell said.

He said that COVID-19 has af­fected the avail­abil­ity of funds, and ad­di­tional mea­sures would now have to be em­ployed to en­sure that pri­or­i­ties are met.

“There are lim­ited funds, and where you could get funds for some­thing that would have to be di­verted to tak­ing care of the na­tion’s health, one would want $100 mil­lion, but if you get $10 mil­lion, you still have to pri­ori­tise and make sure the things that need to be done are done.”

PLAN­NING A PRI­OR­ITY

The mayor said that proper plan­ning has al­ways been a pri­or­ity, and even with the lim­ited fund­ing, the pos­si­bil­ity of mov­ing funds around to match each need has been made pos­si­ble.

“… We have ways to make sure that things are done from what­ever funds we get for road main­te­nance. There is a sec­tion of the law that says we ought to put away 20 per cent for emer­gen­cies, and so we do,” said Mitchell.

He noted that some prepa­ra­tion is done through­out the year, which makes the process less bur­den­some closer to the start of the hur­ri­cane pe­riod. The hur­ri­cane sea­son runs from June 1 to Novem­ber 30.

“We clean drains ev­ery three months. We are about 70 per cent or more pre­pared for the hur­ri­cane sea­son. We are mak­ing sure our stand-by gen­er­a­tors are work­ing at the dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions. Last week, we checked the gen­er­a­tors at the in­fir­mary, the Emer­gency

Oper­a­tion Cen­tre, among other ar­eas,” the mayor said.

Mitchell said that the Disas­ter Pre­pared­ness Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee would be meet­ing today to fine-tune plans for the way for­ward.

“We are now go­ing to be deal­ing with the mat­ter on Villa Road, that area that is prone to flood­ing. In the com­ing weeks, around June 28, that road­way will be closed for about two days for ma­jor work to de done to mit­i­gate that prob­lem of flood­ing.”

He ad­mit­ted that the pan­demic has brought some pos­i­tives as with more per­sons stay­ing home and abid­ing by the im­posed cur­few, the streets, though still cleaned daily, have less de­bris.

“It’s less dirty. We have less per­sons go­ing into the town cen­tre, and the traf­fic is not what it used to be.”

MITCHELL

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