Thursday 26 November, 2020

29 of St James’ 40 BPO firms given greenlight to resume operations

Twenty-nine of the 40 business process outsourcing (BPO) firms operating in the parish of St James have been given the greenlight to resume operations there after meeting the Ministry of Health and Wellness' infection prevention and control requirements.

"They (BPO entities) themselves have a checklist that mirrors our checklist, and so they are aware of what is required, and 29 of them have met the requirements," Acting Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for St James, Dr Francine Phillips-Kelly, disclosed.

She made the disclosure at the recent monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.

The acting MOH noted that the St James Public Health Services is now waiting on the remaining 11 BPO companies to indicate when they are ready for assessment.

"They are trying to put in place all of the measures that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has determined need to be there, and they will alert us as to when we can come in and do their inspection," noted Phillips-Kelly.

The inspection of the 96 BPO entities operating across the island is among several measures that have been undertaken by the Government to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) following the recent outbreak at the Alorica call centre in Portmore, St Catherine. Two-hundred-and twenty-five of the 517 cases reported in Jamaica have been linked to that entity.

The island-wide inspection is being spearheaded by the newly established BPO task force, which has also implemented new measures, including new inspection and audit protocols; a self-inspection checklist that has been signed off by all the relevant agencies and departments; the submission of daily reports by all BPO operators to the Ministry of Health and Wellness; and the installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) at all BPO facilities.

Sanitisation of all workstations and equipment before each work shift, temperature checks, physical distance markers in the offices and all recreational spaces, as well as an isolation area for the temporary holding of a person who becomes symptomatic while on the business premises, are also among the new measures.

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