By Orville Williams
As Covid cases continue to rise and the issue of lack of adherence to the public health protocols remains, the government says it will be looking to increase its engagement with ‘social partners’, in an effort to bring about a more harmonious approach to managing the pandemic.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas made that declaration during Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing.
“Rather than this being an entirely government affair – that the government is, by itself, responsible for ushering in the right type of social behaviours to ensure that we get to that level of safety and get to a new level of normalcy – all of us have to be acting in accord, all of us have to be going in the same direction.
“There is going to be a requirement that when we are speaking, we are speaking with the same voice. When all of the social partners, to include the unions, the business associations, the churches and everyone [else] speaks, [it should be] on common accord in how we are going to be dealing with this common foe,” Nicholas said.
That declaration stemmed from a petition that was launched last week, calling for ‘greater freedoms’ for those people who are fully vaccinated and businesses that are compliant with the established protocols.
Nicholas acknowledged the petition and even said he was gearing up to engage with the persons involved, considering the nature of the appeal.
There have also been concerns by many about what they perceive to be an exclusive, top-down approach, where the government just determines the way forward and instructs the wider population.
Based on Nicholas’ comments, it could be that the government has now identified this sentiment and is prepared to make the moves to include the public more in the decision-making process going forward.