Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry has urged a shift to the commemoration of health and life during this year’s Jounen Kweyol observances.
“Let us shift the focus of this year’s celebration to a commemoration of health and life as we dedicate our efforts to controlling the spread of the COVID-19,” he said.
His remarks came Friday, hours after Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, announced that Saint Lucia had recorded six new cases of the virus.
Noting that this country has so far recorded its 48th COVID-19 positive case, the Police Commissioner asserted that Saint Lucia needs to keep persevering in its fight against the potentially deadly virus.
“Thus far we have been able to manage the spread of the virus, chiefly due to our adherence to the protocols established by our public health officials,” Moncherry stated.
He observed that the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has been tasked not only with achieving a reduction in crime, but securing the health of citizens and ensuring that measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are observed.
Moncherry explained that in keeping with that commitment and following consultation with the office of the CMO, other public health officials and stakeholders, a decision was made to prohibit all mass crowd events including Jounen Kweyol activities, with the exception of single household gatherings.
He warned that non-compliance will result in the event being shut down by the police and the prosecution of the defaulters.
“This decision was not easily made,” Moncherry said in a video recorded statement released to the media.
“We are well aware of the significance of this annual activity to our nation,” he asserted.
“We encourage all Saint Lucians to remember that it’s not only a gathering which demarcates our culture, but it’s also the language, our bonds with each other, our recollection of history and our general respect for the well-being of our neighbours,” Moncherry declared.
He urged all Saint Lucians to refer to the amendments to the COVID-19 Prevention & Control Prohibition of Assemblies Order of 2020.
The Police Commissioner noted that Section 2 has been replaced.
He quoted the new section as indicating that a person shall not host or attend a social event or tournament – contact sports, consisting of more than 50 persons.
Moncherry said the RSLPF continues to encourage all to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, particularly the wearing of masks and social distancing, as the country continues the fight against the virus.
(Headline photo caption: Police Commissioner – Severin Moncherry)