Thursday 24 September, 2020

Jamaica issues travel advisory in relation to China

Dr Christopher Tufton (file photo)

Dr Christopher Tufton (file photo)

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is in the process of issuing a travel advisory for persons wishing to come to Jamaica from China and those planning to leave the island to visit the Asian country.

Portfolio Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the announcement at an emergency meeting held at the ministry in St Andrew on Tuesday.

”Given the traffic between China and Jamaica, which is usual high especially at this time of year..., coming in from China and going into China at this time should be avoided,” said Tufton.

“Persons in China who were planning to travel to the island are being asked to defer those plans,” he indicated.

“For those in Jamaica who had planned on travelling to China, we are asking that they also defer their plans,” the minister added.

The emergency meeting was called after rumours began to circulate on Tuesday that a Jamaican who had recently travelled to China and back to Jamaica, had a suspected case of the deadly Coronavirus.

Further checks, however, showed that the person, while having travelled to China, did not display symptoms that would normally accompany the virus.

In relation to public concerns about the readiness to handle the virus locally, the Health Ministry issued the following additional information on measures that are or will be in place.

  1. For persons in transit to Jamaica, quarantine protocols will be put in place where persons (suspected of having the virus) will either be quarantined in a health facility or at home, depending on the risk assessment that is done.
  1. For families who are concerns about their relatives and friends in China who are there for work or study, conversations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicate that plans have been put in place to facilitate their needs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will speak more broadly to those plans.
  1. Based on those discussions, the Government of Jamaica will continue its surveillance protocols, which are in alignment with international health regulations.
  1. Active surveillance will continue at local ports of entry.

Tuifton said the health authorities had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Ambassador before the decisions on matters relative to China were made.

In relation to testing for the Coronavirus, the minister said samples will have to be sent overseas for testing.

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