COVID-19 Presser: 16 March 2020

Statement of the Minister of Health & Wellness Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton Banquet Hall, Jamaica House, Kingston, Jamaica Monday, March 16, 2020 at 5:15 PM

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, Colleagues from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Stakeholders all, Good afternoon.

Thank you for joining us for this our latest update on Jamaica’s National Response Efforts with respect of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19).


In the last 24 hours, there has been a number of queries re patient zero. We want to start there today with a clarification on this point.

a) ‘Patient Zero’ refers to the first person who is thought to have introduced a disease into a population.

b) In Jamaica and with respect of COVID-19, there have been multiple independent points of introduction of the virus into the population.

c) To avoid confusion we are numbering the cases in order of detection or symptom onset.

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d) The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Jamaica is therefore being referred to as Patient 1.


• 340 persons have come into the island from a country of interest since January 31.

• There are now 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica.

• 26 persons are in quarantine in a Government facility.

• 43 are in home quarantine. Note that these home quarantine numbers do not include the residents of 7 & 8 Miles Bull Bay.

• 23 persons are in isolation in Government facilities.


• 7 and 8 Miles Bull Bay, St. Andrew remain under quarantine. • Up to yesterday, a team from the KSA Parish Health Department had visited 269 households and interviewed some 642 persons. • 1 person showed symptoms and was transferred to isolation. • Residents with prescriptions will, for the period of the quarantine, have those filled by the National Health Fund’s Mobile Pharmacy. Residents

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are asked to give their prescriptions to visiting health teams to make that happen.


  1. All travelers from countries where there is local transmission of COVID-19 will now be required to self-quarantine for up to 14 days. o Persons, once landed, will be required to receive the necessary information at the airport.

o They will then be required to proceed to their place of abode and remain in self-quarantine for 14 days.

o Persons in Hotels will also be required to observe the quarantine rules as outlined by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

o Persons will be able to leave the island at their scheduled departure date even if it is before the 14day period of quarantine, if they do not become ill and do not meet the case definition. However, if they develop symptoms, they would be isolated.

  1. If during the period of quarantine, persons develop symptoms, they are to contact the Ministry at the COVID-19 lines and await instructions: 888-754-7792 or at 888-ONE-LOVE (6635683). Additional numbers to call are 876-542-5998, 876-5426007 and 876-542-6006. Be advised that these numbers are

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experiencing heavy call volumes but the Ministry will get to your call as soon as possible.

  1. Jamaicans who develop flu-like symptoms who may have had contact with someone who has travelled to a country affected by COVID-19 are to contact the Ministry of Health and Wellness for advice.
  2. Effective this Wednesday, March 18 (2020) all public operations will be closed for seven (7) days.

o Government workers – with the exception of those in the essential services – will have their duties limited to the workplace while working from home is encouraged. The details are to be settled with permanent secretaries and heads of agencies. o Bars, night clubs, churches and restaurants (except for takeout) are to be closed. o Public gatherings (such as funerals and weddings) are limited to no more than 20 persons. o Public transport service is limited to seated passengers only and taxis are required to transport one less passenger. o Private businesses are advised to minimise public engagement and are encouraged to have staffers work from home.

  1. Outpatient clinics in hospitals are to be scaled down.

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  1. Hospital visits are now reduced to once per day and to one visitor per patient.
  2. A contract has also been awarded to Jiangxi Jinhuan Medical Devices Limited – China for an amount of US$2,217,884.00M for the procurement of 400,000 N95 Masks for the COVID-19 response.


Members of the public are therefore reminded to: ✓ STAY HOME if you are ill and having fever and/or respiratory symptoms. ✓ Maintain a distance of at least one metre from persons who are coughing or sneezing. ✓ Frequently perform hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer if hands are not visibly soiled. ✓ Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then discarding it. ✓ And resist the habit to touch your face.

Further, public gatherings and non-essential travel are discouraged. In addition to the numbers provided, information and updates on COVID19 can be found at the Ministry’s website at and social media platforms @themohwgovjm. Members of the public may also email or for information.

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I want to also remind the public that the success of our efforts is dependent on their support. We, therefore, urge the public to act in accordance with the advisories from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and to cooperate with our health care professionals working in communities and in facilities at this time.

Dear Fellow Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica,

Please be advised that in an effort to curtail the spread of the Corona Virus – COVID-19 and in the best interest of public safety, the Consular section of the Jamaican High Commission will be closed from Monday, 16th to Friday, 20th March 2020. During the period, the situation will be assessed to determine any further adjustment that may be necessary.

Passport applicants are encouraged to utilize the online application system which is available to persons who received an adult passport after September 2001.  The website for the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), from which information is available is:

Applicants are also free to submit applications via post. Urgent consular matters only will be facilitated by appointment via email to or or telephone number 0207 808 8006 or 0207 808 8016. 

The High Commission will continue to monitor and provide updates on developments as they become available. You are also encouraged to note the official advisories from the relevant authorities and limit overseas travel to emergencies only. In this regard, please note that the Government of Jamaica has instituted travel restrictions for persons travelling to Jamaica from the following countries:

  1. China
  2. Germany
  3. Italy
  4. South Korea
  5. Singapore
  6. Iran
  7. Spain
  8. France

The health, safety and well-being of our country and community are our top priorities. We therefore encourage you to take all necessary precautions to limit participation in large gatherings/ non-essential events, as well as refrain from normal types of social greetings.

The High Commission also takes this opportunity to encourage nationals to assist us in updating or registering their contact details, as appropriate. This maybe done via e-mail to or

The High Commission will continue to monitor and provide update on developments to the Jamaican community and Friends of Jamaica in the United Kingdom, as well as the Jamaican Consulates in Birmingham, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Scotland and Sweden. Please also visit the following websites for updates:

  • Jamaican High Commission                                                                               –    
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica                       –    
  • Ministry of Health and Wellness                                                                     –    
  • National Health Scheme UK                                                                               –    

Please be assured of the High Commission’s continued support during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

Seth George Ramocan, CD

High Commissioner


Whilst you may decide what precautions you may wish to take, JBSF UK strongly suggests you follow this advice:
If you or a family member are showing signs of illness, please do not attend the launch and follow the guidance below. We recommend that guests consider refraining from any physical contact before or after the event. Given the tactile nature of some greetings you may want to consider just saying hello. Minimise mass shared transport. Wash hands thoroughly before and after the event for 20 seconds with hot water.

Any guest who feels unwell prior to the event SHOULD NOT attend the event. You should follow the advice from Public Health England. If a guest is known to have been infected with COVID-19, then it is standard policy for Public Health to contact all those with whom he has been in contact. Full co-operation is expected to ensure the risk to others

Your questions answered: Q: How long does the Coronavirus survive on surfaces?
A: It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. It may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. So please ensure you wash your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds (singing Happy Birthday twice) – especially after using public transport.

Q: I am showing symptoms of the virus, what should I do?
A: Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If you are worried you are showing symptoms of the Coronavirus please use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next. In Wales call 111 (if available in your area) or 0845 46 47.

Q. I have been asked to self-isolate, what steps should I follow?
A: Please follow the link below if you have been asked to self-isolate for further advice and guidance:

Q: How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?
A: The incubation period means the time between catching the virus and showing symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days; most commonly around five days.

As always, the welfare of our guest is paramount. We encourage all guests to follow this guidance and keep up-to-date with developments from Public Health England as they are issued.

Update and National Statement from the Jamaican Ministry of Health and Wellness regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Please also see the following links for useful information on the Coronavirus/COVID-19:

Kingston, Jamaica. Feb. 27, 2020
 Members of the Media,  Ladies and gentlemen all,  Good morning.
We wish to use this opportunity to provide the country with an update on the novel coronavirus/COVID-19.


The Ministry of Health and Wellness wishes to advise that based on the risk assessment and the World Health Organization Situation Report 37 on the COVID-19, dated February 26, 2020, additional countries will be incorporated into the travel restrictions.

This is having regard to the fact that the majority of cases in those countries have been due to in-country transmission. The countries to be added for travel restrictions are as follows:  Italy (322 cases, 11 deaths);  South Korea/Republic of Korea (1,261 cases, 12 deaths);  Singapore (91 cases, no deaths); and  Iran (95 cases; 15 deaths).

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Of note is that we are reviewing the situation in Japan, where there are 164 cases and 1 death; and will advise whether that country is to be included in the list of restricted countries.


a) all Jamaicans who have visited Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Singapore in the last 14 days will have landing privileges in accordance with the law but will be subject to a health assessment and quarantine;

b) persons who have visited Italy, South Korea, Iran and Singapore in the last 14 days and who do not have permanent residency or marriage exemption in Jamaica will not be granted landing privileges at any of the country’s ports of entry;

c) non-Jamaicans who have permanent residence and marriage exemptions who are landed and who had visited Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Singapore in the last 14 days will be subject to a health assessment and quarantine;

d) persons who have visited Italy, South Korea, Iran and Singapore and have been granted landing privileges and classified by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as high risk will be quarantined in Government facilities; and those who are assessed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as low-risk will be quarantined at home under the supervision of the Parish Health Department; and

e) individuals returning from Italy, South Korea, Iran and Singapore who have been granted landing privileges and who display any symptom of

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COVID-19, as per the case definition published by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, will be placed in immediate isolation at a health facility.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue to assess the situation in light of the spread and will make recommendations for adjustments based on the risk assessment.

SEAPORT READINESS There is a well-established system in place for the protection of our sea ports and it has been since the enactment of the Quarantine Act of 1951. This was in evidence on Tuesday, Feb 25 in St. Ann.

As previously reported, a cruise line with more than 4,500 passengers and more than 1,600 crew members was denied access to the port of call in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

The vessel arrived at approximately 8:30 a.m. and, upon inspection by Port Health Officials, it was discovered that a crew member had been put in isolation on board. The crew member had a cough, fever and associated muscle pains, together with a travel history to a country of interest relating to COVID-19.

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As at Feb 26, 141 persons arrived in Jamaica who had been in China 14 days prior to arrival here.

There are now 5 persons in quarantine in Government facilities.

There are now 5 persons in home quarantine.

There are now 2 persons in isolation and for whom we are awaiting test results.

We have now designated 4 number of quarantine facilities in anticipation of new arrivals.


As previously announced, Cabinet had instructed that a National Coordinating Committee be put in place.

That committee, co-chaired by the Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie, is comprised of a wide cross section of stakeholders, including members of industry, the public sector and civil society.

The committee will host its first meeting early next week and will examine all of the preparedness functions of the entire Government apparatus.

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As we continue to refine our preparedness for COVID-19, the Ministry and our stakeholders urge the public for its continued cooperation and partnership.



You will require the following:
— A working computer with internet access.
— A Web Browser. (Internet Explorer between versions 9 and 11, Chrome version 54.0.2840.99)
— Your current passport
— A digital passport size photograph stored on computer
— A valid Master or Visa card for payment
— A VALID and WORKING EMAIL ADDRESS to receive system-generated messages.
— A Portable Data Format (PDF) reader
— A working printer to view and print the system-generated application form in A4-size paper (You may print your application and submit same at any PICA Office in Jamaica)


Gracious Givers

. Please click on the link below and support this worthy cause as we collectively help the children in Jamaica in terms of supplies for their education. It is a fairly new charity and education, education, education springs to mind

Port Royal Welcomes First Cruise Ship

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Port Royal Welcomes First Cruise Ship
Click link below for more information.
The Diaspora responds to the Crime Crisis: A delegation of Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Leaders toured key communities as part of a needs assessment for crime intervention programs planned for June
  A delegation of Jamaica Diaspora Task Force Leaders have recently completed a week of strategic meetings and tours of the Salt Springs community in Montego Bay and the Mountain View community in Kingston hosted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Lasco Chin Foundation (LCF) and the USAID Local Partner Development (USAID LPD.) The sessions also included Crime Prevention and Community Safety from the Ministry of National Security, the Peace Management Institute (PMI), the Social Development Commission (SDC) and other stakeholders as part of a needs assessment in preparation for Jamaica Week of Action 2020, June 1-5 of this year.
Jamaica Week of Action 2020, is a new undertaking by the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network (JDTAN.) All the Taskforces will execute simultaneous projects around a common development theme, Crime. The week will culminate with the kickoff of the Jamaica Tree Planting Project on World Environment Day, June 5th This Jamaica Tree Planting Project seeks to plant at least 100k trees over one year in recognition of the significance of climate resilience and environmental conservation and supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  #13 (Climate Change) and #15 (Life on Land.) It is also part of a larger regional initiative that seeks to plant 1 million trees across the Caribbean in 12 months.  The Caribbean project is led bt the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance (CPA), an alliance of the largest private-sector foundations in the Caribbean and other stakeholders. 2020 marks the beginning of the last ten (10) years to achieve the 2030 SDGs and Jamaica Vision 2030.  The JDTAN Jamaica Week of Action initiative was designed in recognition of this ten-year sprint towards 2030.
The strategic planning sessions were held at PIOJ headquarters in Kingston. Monday’s session started with presentations by Charles Clayton, Programme Director of the PIOJ on the Community Renewal Programme and Brigadier Williams who provided an overview of the National Citizen Security Plan – Plan Secure Jamaica. Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, CEO of the Lasco Chin Foundation and President of the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance (CPA) highlighted the importance of forging collaborative relationships in addressing the problem of youth crime and violence.  Monday’s session also included updates from each Task Force Leader on their key initiatives. The week continued with a Tuesday trip to Montego Bay to tour the Salt Springs community and to meet with members of the PMI, the SDC, and the CDC among others. On Wednesday the delegation toured the Mountain View Community and visited Clan Carty high school in Kingston. The week closed on Thursday with a deep dive into the Jamaica Tree Planting Project and an overview of the Ministry of Health’s, Adopt a Clinic program.

JDTAN  Founder and Chair, Leo Gilling commented: “We have received an overwhelming amount of information to help us forge the correct path this week.  Now as leaders, our eyes are open to what’s out there. When we return to meet with our Taskforce teams, our interventions will be based on actual needs vs what we perceive them to be.  Our plan is to collaborate to customize and implement actionable solutions based on the needs of the Salt Springs and Mountain View communities.  The tours were eye-opening, our goal was to observe, listen, take notes and ask questions. I am thankful to all the Task Force Leaders for taking the time to make this trip. Performing a needs assessment is important to the work of the Diaspora, it ensures that our plans and our work are fully aligned with the development plans of Jamaica.” He went on to say “I am grateful to the partnership we have forged with Dr. Rosalea Hamilton of the Lasco Chin  Foundation, Charles  Clayton and Charmaine Muirhead from the PIOJ, and Morana Smodlaka Krajnovic and her team from the USAID Local Partner Development and the many other stakeholders we met with who are passionate about their community and country. This is how we maximize our work and our impact: Jamaicans in Jamaica and in the Diaspora sitting at the same table working together
Charles Clayton, Programme Director of the PIOJ added “Much of the failure to address the dysfunctional elements among our society, rests on the fact that most of our development institutions and organizations have for decades, operated within silos. By working collaboratively within a common framework, we are able to reduce waste from duplication and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our programmes through better targeting, enhanced resourcing and a more holistic approach to addressing the causal factors behind our dysfunctions.”
The Task Force Leaders in the delegation included:
-The Agriculture Task Force  – Denise McLaughlin
-The Behavioral Health Task Force – Dr. Grethel Bradford & Dr Beverly Gordon.
-The Education Taskforce – Leo Gilling, Karlene Largie, Andrea Dailey
-The Environment and Climate Change  Task Force – Lavern Kitson, Stephen Snider, and Gregory Barrett
-The Health Task Force – Claudette Powell
-The Legal Sector Support Taskforce   – Alison Smith
-The Technology and Entrepreneurship Taskforce – Krystle Wright, Michael Campbell
-The Parenting, and Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Taskforce – Shirnett Bailey
-The Youth Empowerment Taskforce – Donna Morton
The Jamaica Diaspora Task Forces united together last year as the Jamaica Diaspora Task Force Action Network (JDTAN). JDTAN seeks to provide a collaborative approach to engage and mobilize the Jamaican Diaspora to join forces and support Jamaica in achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Jamaica Vision 2030.  Jamaica Diaspora Taskforces started with a focus on Education in 2013 and has expanded over the last seven years to 15 defined sectoral areas.

To join Jamaica Week of Action 2020 visit 
To support the Jamaica Tree Planting Project visit

Stephen Snider, Co-Chair of the Jamaica Diaspora  Environment and Climate Change  Task Force and Giselle Hall, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Caribbean Division, the Nature Conservancy – Youth Co-Leaders of the Jamaica Tree Planting Project, present to the Diaspora Delegation and  Jamaican Environmental  sector practitioners.  
For more information contact: JDTAN 909.438.1819  

Would you like to start investing in Jamaica? Please see the below link for more information.



Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association 

The Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association (JMEA) is Jamaica’s leading industry association, serving as the voice of exporters, manufacturers, service providers micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The JMEA provides vital support to the industry through advocacy, strategic partnerships, export services, research, capacity building and access to finance.

JMEA’s Mission To strengthen our member companies through representation, services, support and the leveraging of networks so as to ensure that the manufacturing and export sectors create sustainable growth and quality jobs for Jamaica.

JMEA’s Vision The JMEA is the driving force for the productive sectors to advance a thriving manufacturing and export led economy.


Expo Jamaica is the largest and most impactful exhibition and tradeshow of its kind in the Caribbean attracting over two hundred and nineteen (219) exhibitors, five hundred and sixty-eight (568) buyers, and twenty-one thousand four hundred and forty-two (21,442) consumers in 2018.

This multi-sectorial exposition, showcases manufacturers, service providers, primary producers, exporters as well as the tourism industry. Expo Jamaica is hosted by the Jamaica Manufacturers’ and Exporters Association. The show has a rich history dating back to 1971 and today is recognized by the local business community as well as the diaspora and international suppliers of goods; as the main event in which major trade and investment opportunities are created and strengthened; and where brands are built and product awareness maximized.

From April 30 – May 3, 2020 under the theme ‘A Vision of the Future’, Expo Jamaica will once again become the one-stop hub for Jamaica to do business and expose the prowess of our productive sectors to local consumers and the rest of the world. As such, planning for Expo Jamaica has commenced and as a partner, the company can participate in the planning process and begin to benefit from associating your brand with this prestigious event.
To expand the export of Jamaican goods and services. To increase local sales of Jamaican goods through increased awareness of Jamaican brands. To forge joint venture/partnerships between exhibitors and potential investors. To strengthen the sectorial/industry linkages between the hotel, other services, agriculture and distributive trade.
Reinforce the contribution of the local manufacturing and export sector to the development of the economy. Strengthen the linkages between the Jamaican Diaspora and Manufacturers. Enhance Jamaica’s image as a viable business destination.


Food and Agriculture Chemicals Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals Information and Communication Technology Minerals and Metals Electrical  Electronics and Automotive Furniture Bedding and Wooden Products Printing and Packaging Textile and Sewn Apparel  Creative Industries (Animation, Film, Fashion)
Over two thousand (2000) of Jamaica’s best goods and services will be on show from industries.



Expo Jamaica