Coronavirus: Passengers on BA flight asked to identify themselves
File photo of British Airways aircraft.
Government is urging persons who travelled on British Airways (BA) flight 2263 to Jamaica on March 4, to identify themselves in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the island.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the request during the emergency press conference at Jamaica House on Wednesday, to announce Jamaica’s second confirmed case of COVID-19.
Holness said: "In terms of patient zero, who is the first person to have the infection, who travelled to Jamaica on BA 2263... there will be many other persons on that flight... who entered Jamaica, be aware.
“What we ask them to do is to self-identify, which means the number that is given by the Ministry of Health, that they should call in to say ‘I was on that flight and I am okay’ or ‘I was on that flight and I feel a little ‘fluish’,’ so that we are aware and they are aware,” Holness said.
According to Holness, the government will be using the flight data in an effort to establish contact with those who were on the flight, however, he said this can prove problematic, as all the information given for the flight data may not be accurate.
He said: "Some people may have made a mistake and we can’t reach out to them or find them, so it is important that they self-identify.
“If it is that they match the case profile or they are symptomatic, the Ministry of Health will respond to them. We are taking the approach that it is best that we give people the information,” Holness said.
Tufton said the number to call is 888-one-love (663-5683).
On Tuesday, patient zero was identified as a woman with dual Jamaican and United Kingdom citizenship, who travelled to the island from the UK to attend a funeral.
The individual is reported to be from the border of Kingston and St Thomas.