LIKE many of his St Catherine neighbours, Seon Lewis is eager to see life return to normal so he can move about freely, in and out of his community.
He is ecstatic that, as of 6:00 am today, the 24-hour curfew that has been in place since April 15 has ended.
The 32-year-old, who operates what he describes as a small, informal venture, said the parish lockdown has been the “hardest financial period in my life”. With his business shuttered but bills still coming in, he is hoping for some modicum of relief after today.
“Financially, the lockdown was taxing,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. “My business was unable to open, but that did not stop JPS [Jamaica Public Service] or [telecommunications provider] Digicel from texting me. And I have two [house] rents to pay.”
His neighbour, Samantha Kessoon, also spoke of the impact staying at home has had on her wallet.
“Since the curfew, our JPS bill is the highest we have seen in 12 months,” she said. “And NWC [National Water Commission] bill is one of the highest for this year. I guess staying at home has a cost,” she said.
Lewis and Kessoon are among the roughly 500,000 St Catherine residents whose movements were curtailed as part of the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus after the country’s largest cluster of cases was identified in the parish. The Portmore, St Catherine, location of business process outsourcing firm Alorica accounted for 245 of the country’s 396 cases up to Wednesday.
While St Catherine’s 24-hour curfew ends today, its residents, along with the rest of the country, are still under a 6:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew.
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