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JAMAICA | No request from cruise line to enter Jamaica says Holness, Bring them home says PNP

KINGSTON, Jamaica May 18, 2020 - In the wake of mounting pressure from the People’s National Party (PNP) to address plans for some 1,044 Jamaican ship workers to dock in Falmouth on Monday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government of Jamaica has received no final request from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) for the cruise ship to enter Jamaica's water.

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  • Countries Jamaica

JAMAICA | Jamaica Has Lost One of The Giants of Our Time - Holness

KINGSTON, Jamaica Sunday May 17, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed deep sadness at news of the passing of one of modern Jamaica's business and media giants, Hon. Oliver F. Clarke OJ. Prime Minister Holness has extended condolences to Mr. Clarke’s family, friends and colleagues. In a statement, Prime Minister Holness said  “News of the death of the Hon. Oliver F. Clarke has left me deeply saddened. I had known that he was very ill but knowing the fighter that he was, I was hopeful that this battle would not be his last. For decades Oliver straddled the Jamaican business community like a Colossus. From his time as an Assistant General Manager at the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) to his last major role as Chairman of the RJRGleaner Communications Group, Oliver has been a major player in many aspects of the Jamaican and regional private sector. He may very well be lionized for the monumental role he played in moving the Gleaner Company into one of the most powerful newspapers in the English speaking Caribbean after he joined the company in 1976. Later he would play a leading role along with the late J Lester Spaulding in overseeing its merger with the Radio Jamaica Limited (RJR) to create one of the largest media conglomerates in the region.” Prime Minister Holness also hailed Mr. Clarke’s contribution to the wider development of Jamaica. “For those who knew him, Oliver was more than a media giant. His role in shaping the development of the nation as a leader of the local private sector can never be discounted. As President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica between 2002 and 2003, President of the Inter American Press Association, and a member of the board of directors for several major private sector entities, Oliver provided sound judgement and a calming presence.” In 1998, Oliver Clarke was awarded the Order of Jamaica. A year earlier in 1997, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ). Prime Minister Holness in extending condolences to Mr. Clarke's widow, Monica, and daughter Maria Alexandra, noted that Jamaica will be poorer for his passing. -30-

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  • Countries Jamaica

JAMAICA | Holness apologises, improvement soon for persons in state quarantine

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. May 14, 2020 - The cohort of Jamaicans who returned yesterday from the United States and Canada under the Controlled Re-Entry Programme has been encountering a number of difficulties at their quarantine location are being assureed by PM Andrew Holness that their difficulties will soon be eased. In a Jamaica House statement today, Holness said these difficulties relate primarily to delays in the admission process at the quarantine facility and the lack of timely provision of meals. The Prime Minister apologised "to every returning citizen who has had to endure less than favourable conditions," pointing out that "the issues encountered are completely unacceptable. I asked Ministers Christopher Tufton and Matthew Samuda to visit the quarantine facility today to get a first-hand view of the situation. Arising from the visit, the Government has already taken some remedial actions and we will do everything we can to completely rectify the situation. A preliminary assessment has revealed that the situation arose from capacity issues and unforeseen circumstances such as weather and a power outage, against a background of heightened panic and stigma," Holness said. "We have made much progress on several aspects of the Controlled Re-Entry Programme. The application and approval process is fully managed online through the JamCovid19 platform either on the website or via the iOS or Android app. We have streamlined the process at the airport with the processing time cut by half compared to the previous cohort that arrived on Wednesday last week. Many persons spanning several Ministries and Agencies have worked tirelessly to get our citizens home. It is extremely unfortunate that this situation has dampened the happiness that our citizens would have had upon returning home to Jamaica. "The Government is very sympathetic to the plight of Jamaicans overseas who wish to return home many of whom are under severe hardship. As a result, the Government has gone above and beyond to facilitate the return of our Jamaicans. This has stretched the capacity of our public health system and our frontline workers. The reality is that we now have over 600 persons in quarantine and isolation facilities. We also have four quarantine areas in St. Mary, and many other active contact tracing exercises ongoing. This while conducting all the other public health duties. While we are working assiduously to bring our citizens home, we cannot over-extend ourselves. We have to work within our capacity. "Out of compassion and an overwhelming desire to bring our citizens home, we are now beyond our quarantine capacity. It will therefore be at least 14 days before we are able to accommodate any sizeable additional cohort. I have directed the Ministries and Agencies involved to use this period to explore ways of rapidly scaling up our capacity both in accommodations and logistics to ensure a positive experience for all," Holness declared. He pointed out that "over 8,000 Jamaicans have already applied to return home through the JamCovid19 system. To accommodate this number utilizing state quarantine would mean an inordinate delay in their return. The Government is already working towards the development of a home quarantine solution incorporating technology that will facilitate the geofencing and monitoring of persons re-entering Jamaica to ensure that they stay in their designated quarantine area which may include their home," Hoilness noted. He concluded by saying that "we continue to manage this process in a manner that keeps all Jamaicans, both those on island and those overseas safe. We again thank you for your patience and understanding. I wish to assure all Jamaicans overseas who wish to return home, that your Government is working assiduously to get you back home as soon as possible." -30-

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  • Countries Jamaica

JAMAICA | Curfew modified, bars and churches to re-open

KINGSTON, Jamaica Tues. May 12, 2020 – The government has announced adjustments to the island wide curfew, designed to restrict movement as part of measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the island.

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  • Countries Jamaica

JAMAICA | COVID-19 Cases in Jamaica Jumps to 223, Six deaths

KINGSTON, Jamaica April 20, 2020 -  - The number of COVID-19 cases in Jamaica has risen to 223, an increase of 27 new cases in the last 24 hours. The death toll now climbs to six with the deatrh of retired chemist, Professor Emeritus Tara Dasgupta who is linked to the University of the West Indies (UWI) and who tested positive for COVID-19.

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  • Countries Jamaica
  • Published in Health
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