Hundreds of people are expected to arrive in Jamaica from the UK where a new strain of the coronavirus, said to be 70 per cent more contagious is rampant.
Although Jamaica’s government implemented a travel ban on the UK, three flights, one of which was already en route, were allowed to land.
The first flight contained roughly 300 passengers, and the other two are said to have 600 in total. The flights consisted of mainly Jamaicans.
Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton told the Jamaica Observer that all passengers will be tested and kept under quarantine for 48 hours.
Passengers who test negative for the virus will be fitted with armbands for monitoring and then released to complete their 14-day quarantine at home. And those who are positive will be isolated in State facilities until they’ve recovered.
“The nature of this virus does not allow antigen testing. The idea is to test all persons and then hold [them] for 48 hours, and then when they get their results, to send them home, but still track them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister said Jamaica’s health system is working on increasing its capacity to accommodate these passengers.
“For the numbers for today [yesterday], we think we do [have capacity]. We are going to have to look at the numbers for tomorrow [today]. We are still working on that,” Tufton said.