Gov’t to look at workers operating in enclosed or close quarters

Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaking in Parliament Tuesday (April 21).

As the government continues to put measures in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that all businesses with a high concentration of workers operating in enclosed spaces or in close quarters will be examined, in order for procedures to be put in place as necessary.

“So it’s not only the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector that we are paying attention to. We have to look at all other forms of business that have this feature,” Holness said in an address to the House of Representatives this week.

He noted that “what was a driving factor in the decision around BPOs is that of the 600 samples collected, 256 [were] tested, of that, 125 were positive, so that shows you that we are looking at a 40 per cent positive yield, so far, and that is very high. So if that is the case in a BPO operation, it could also be the case in other operations that have similar features”.

“Therefore, it is important that we design measures to not just address BPOs, but all other business operations. That is being done now and as soon as those are refined we will put those in an Order to apply to other businesses,” he added.

Prime Minister Holness on April 20 announced the closure of all BPO facilities in the country for 14 days, starting Wednesday, April 22.