JAMAICA HAS introduced enhanced safety measures in anticipation of the arrival of coronavirus.
No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Caribbean country to date but minister of health and wellness Christopher Tufton said it was a “very real possibility” that the virus would reach Jamaica’s shores.
In a statement released this week, Tufton said: “We can accept, given the rate of spread, which has seen more than 30 new countries impacted in the last week alone, that Jamaica is not immune to COVID-19.”
Among its efforts to anticipate an outbreak, Jamaica has introduced travel restrictions on those entering the island from several countries.
Those travelling from China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore and Iran who do not have permanent residency or marriage exemption will not be permitted to land in the country.
All Jamaicans who have visited any of the five countries in the last 14 days will be subjected to a health assessment and quarantine.
Restrictions around those who have travelled to China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore and Iran the have been imposed as a result of incidents of in-country transmission.
Four quarantine facilities have been set up in the country and work has started on preparing isolation facilities in each of the island’s public hospitals.
Anyone who returns to Jamaica from the countries listed and is showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be placed in immediate isolation at one of the designated health facilities.
Tufton also announced the launch of a COVID-19 taskforce.
As of February 26, five people were placed in quarantine in government facilities; five were placed in home quarantine and two were in isolation awaiting test results.