LUCEA, Hanover – Three-term People’s National Party (PNP’s) Member of Parliament for Hanover Western, Ian Hayles, believes that the sanitisation of public passenger vehicles and bus sheds being undertaken by Hanover Strong, is a contributing factor for the parish to be the only one in the island yet to record a confirmed case of the coronavirus.
Hayles disclosed that every weekend, each public transportation vehicle that operates in the Hanover Western constituency has access to free sanitisation at the Lucea Transport Centre from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
“For the past month, we have been sanitising all public transportation in western Hanover. I probably say we sanitise approximately 220 vehicles for both days [Saturday and Sunday]. Outside of that, we also do all bus stops around the constituency every Saturday, Sunday and Monday, because the virus lives on the surface so we just can’t do the public transportation and don’t do the bus stops,” explained Hayles.
Hanover Strong, which is made up of representatives from key organisations including pastors, high school principals, Hanover Charities and politicians, was established last month to have a structured, collaborative approach to fight COVOD-19 in the parish.
The group also focuses on giving out care packages, the distribution of masks and assisting the elderly with medication.
According to Katrin Casserly, chair of Hanover Charities, which donated the six mist blowers being used in the sanitation drive, it was a no-brainer for the charitable organisation to partner with the other stakeholders involved in the initiative.
“When the MP [Member of Parliament Ian Hayles] approached us with the idea, we said, ‘Absolutely! That’s a brilliant idea, and we would like to work together on this’,” said Casserly.
“NGO’s [non-governmental organisations] and government must work together for a better outcome. He [Ian Hayles] worked out all the logistics and we partnered on this by donating six mist blowers to the effort,” added Casserly.
Hayles said the sanitising process is very simple.
“It involves pulling your vehicle up, getting out of your car, then opening all four doors; and starting with the blow mist machine inside with the sanitising chemical. When that process is finished, a sticker which says ‘I Sanitize, #Hanover Strong’, is placed on the vehicle,” he explained.
“Once the public sees the sticker on the vehicle, it means that it was sanitised by us, so it is safe for you to drive in that vehicle.”
One bus driver, who identified himself as Dave, said he was happy that his vehicle can be sanitised on a weekly basis free of cost, as he expressed the wish that the initiative continues.
“Bwoy, dis coronavirus set a way, suh anything fi mek wi passenger dem feel safe fi drive wid wi, mi wi do it. Is a good thing a gwaan man, good thing, and I hope it will gwaan for a long time,” he told the Jamaica Observer West.
Hayles said that the group plans to keep Hanover COVID-19-free as long as possible, stressing that he is willing to use whatever resources available to him, to make that possible.
“We are doing our best to keep the parish COVID-free, so we just keep pushing. Wherever they ask us to sanitise, we try our best to accommodate them. We have done a few restaurants and plan to do the schools before they are reopened,” he added.
As of Tuesday, there were 507 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the island with nine deaths and 100 recoveries.
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