Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, says the Government is continuing to closely monitor countries in order to thwart a local outbreak as the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide.
Jamaica has travel restrictions in place for five countries – Iran, Singapore, South Korea, Italy and China.
“We are observing other countries and we coordinate with immigration [and] the airlines to monitor other countries of interest, even though there are persons arriving from these countries [and] even though we haven’t announced an additional advisory,” the Minister said.
He was addressing a meeting of the National Disaster Risk Management Council at Jamaica House, on Thursday (March 5). The meeting was convened by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, to discuss the COVID-19 threat and Jamaica’s level of preparedness.
Dr Tufton informed that as of March 5 at 5:20PM, 209 persons of interest who have arrived in the island since the outbreak were investigated, 86 persons were landed and 53 were refused landing.
“We are reviewing the numbers for the day, because it is an ongoing daily occurrence.”— Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton
In addition, seven persons are in home quarantine, 26 persons remain in government quarantine facilities, and one person is in isolation.
“Today, we are reviewing the numbers for the day, because it is an ongoing daily occurrence. There is now one person is isolation as of yesterday,” Dr. Tufton informed.
Preparation ongoing to prevent outbreak in Jamaica
The Minister said the Government took the necessary precautions by putting in place measures to prevent the rapidly spreading virus from getting into the island.
“I think, under the circumstances, we have done well to create awareness, to manage our ports of entry… train and retrain our health workers, our front-line workers – that is ongoing; to establish isolation rooms in our hospitals across the country, to establish the quarantine facilities… and to maintain some communication with communities,” he said.
In a short space of time, the virus has spread to over 60 countries. To date, there have been 97,878 reported cases of the virus worldwide, including in the Caribbean countries of the Dominican Republic, St. Martin and St. Barts.