Three Months Food Supply in Place as the Local Virus Spread Begins

The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica confirmed 6 new cases of the COVID-19 last night, these results include the first evidence of local transmission on the island.

These cases bring to eight, the number of novel coronavirus confirmed cases here. Included among them are two men, aged 67 and 63, who entered the island on March 7 traveling from Trinidad, after they travelled from Malaysia through Dubai and London. They turned up at a hospital on March 11, the ministry reported.


Another man who travelled from Manchester, England is 36-year-old. An ambulance took him to a hospital from his hotel on March 11. A Jamaican who is  31-year-old an overseas ship worker, he travelled from the Canary Islands through Portugal and Miami, and landed on February 25 and didn’t show up at the hospital with symptoms until March 10. 

The 58-year-old father of the first confirmed COVID-11 infected person, that is not named, was found at home on March 11. And another woman is also positive, she is 34, and she is in close contact with the unnamed Covid-19 patient.

The Government announced that local retail and distribution trade gave the assurance that there is up to three months’ supply of basic foods and other essentials that are stored so there is no need to worry about running out of food, the Government has reported.

A shutdown of Jamaica’s public-school system and other educational institutions and “panic-buying” of food and sanitizing agents prompted the Government to make reports.

“There is no need to panic. Inventories remain strong,” said Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke,  the Holness administration sought to convey the message again during separate Jamaica House press conferences yesterday.

The prime minister also announced that beginning today and ending 14 days time all the early childhood institutions, primary and high schools, the HEART Trust/National Service Agency, and the HOPE training program will not be opened “in the first instance”
The closures will be reviewed after 10 days and then a decision will be made about whether they will be reopened or not.


This closure has triggered a change in the schedule for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams. The permanent secretary in the education ministry, Dr. Grace McLean revealed. that the ministry has the capacity to put off the assessment and “make a determination later, in the year, depending on the number of days that the children are will be out”.

She also said the ministry was committed, to ensuring that whatever happens, the students will get the opportunity to sit the exam and if there are children who are not able to sit all three sets of papers they have their grade five assessments, and that can be used in specific cases.”

Kamina Johnson Smith Foreign Minister reported, also, that the Jamaican consulate general in New York City would not be opened for five days, beginning Monday. The office serves the largest diaspora community in the USA at the moment.


The consular section of the Jamaican missions in Washington, DC, and London in the United Kingdom, will also be closed next week, the Minister disclosed.

“The Government will continue to monitor the situation and then make a determination whether the closures should be extended or not,” she disclosed.
“This is a precautionary measure to protect persons from spreading the coronavirus by limiting Jamaican’s who would gather to access services and to be transported to the relevant missions.”


Minister Johnson Smith said overseas employees were alerted to the Government’s restrictions on travel and Jamaicans in the diaspora were urged to postpone non-essential travel to the country.

“All staff was advised that there would be no travel to be approved now and for non-essential purposes as well, until further notice,” she reported.

Floyd Green, the Junior Minister for Industry and Commerce revealed that the Government was aware that there was “panic-buying” of sanitizing agents.

Green assured persons that there are sufficient materials here to make sanitizers and the two local producers have announced that they would be increasing production. “They have committed to go from an eight-hour workday to a 12-hour workday so that they can have enough out there,” he revealed.

He noted also that were enough alternatives such as bleach and anti-bacterial soaps readily available here and he also said that the Consumer Affairs Commission would be directed to “put out some of the alternatives in the marketplace”.


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