Queen of the Dancehall Spice, capitalised on her power of influence and took to Instagram live on Saturday (April 18), with Jamaica’s Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, to seek clarification on a number of issues her fans had brought to her attention, related to COVID-19.
A few days ago, during an Instagram live session, the Artiste warned the Jamaican people to stay home and practice social distancing.
She later posted a video, appealing to individuals to take the necessary precaution and take the actions of the government seriously, an effort that sparked the need to engage the authorities.
During the live with Tufton, Spice stated that one of the main reasons she decided to engage the Minister was as a result of the lock down in St Catherine; the parish she was born and raised in.
As over 68k people joined in, Spice asked dozens of questions which dealt with a wide range of issues including accessibility to COVID updates by those in rural areas, shopping days and who are allowed on the roads, Jamaicans stranded on cruise ships, school closure and possibly getting vaccines from Cuba.
With the lock down restricting persons in St Catherine to go grocery shopping on Wednesday and Saturday of this week; with those whose last names begin with the letters from A-M going in the morning and N-Z going in later in the day, Spice said videos and photos circulating online showed an issue with logistics.
Minister Tufton insisted that it can work if people stop panicking.
He said the Government will never put persons in a position to be without supplies and will always work out days for individuals to do shopping in a lock down.
Tufton also sought to allay the fears of persons who think supermarkets will run out of food by the time they are allowed to leave their homes under the alphabetical structure now in place.
Like several other Jamaicans who travelled overseas prior to the closure of all entry ports, Spice remains in Atlanta, where she went, with her kids, for the taping of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, for which she is a cast member.
Tufton asked Spice if she was doing well and if her children were being home schooled, before stating that the ports will unfortunately remain closed to contain the spread of the virus and avoid new imported cases.
As for those Jamaican’s stranded on ships, Tufton revealed that they too will have to wait until the Ministry of National Security along with other Ministries works out issues of logistics before they can accommodate them.
Jamaica has so far recorded 173 cases. Of that number five persons have died and over 20 person have recovered.
“Spice I need you to help me get people to understand that COVID is not your fault. It is just like Dengue that killed 80 persons and hospitalised about 1500. People shouldn’t discriminate against those who have it or are seen in the busses transported for suspected cases. It could be today for them and tomorrow for you… ” Tufton said.
He was reiterating calls for person who require testing to take the transportation provided for them by the Ministry of Health.
Tufton said approximately 20,000 test kits are expected to be in the island soon and local medical officials are testing the suitability of Cuba’s vaccine, that was originally made to combat another disease.
There were mixed reactions with the viewers, however, most commended the efforts of the Minister and praised the Government for being transparent and making information accessible via all media forms.
For more information or to get COVID updates call 888-ONE LOVE.