JAMAICAN PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has declared the island a disaster area because of the threat of coronavirus infection.
Holness made the announcement at a press conference at Jamaica House yesterday (March 13).
He said that the country is trying as hard as possible to contain the spread of COVID-19, and as such the Government has activated the 2015 Disaster Risk Management Act, the Emergency Powers Act and the Public Health Act.
“This means we can do whatever is required to control the spread of this disease,” he said.
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte explained that, “If there is suspicion that something is happening in your private place which may affect the disaster at hand, the minister can authorise checks being done without warrants or permissions”.
Jamaica has so far reported eight cases of coronavirus infection.
Holness also announced a travel ban on the United Kingdom, the source country for Jamaica’s first imported case.
The latest measures to combat the virus outlined by the government include putting part of the island under quarantine and recruiting retired medical professionals.
Already, the Seven and Eight Miles communities of Bull Bay, St Andrew have been declared a quarantine area.
Soldiers and police have been deployed there to restrict movements in an out of the communities.