Quarantine warning!

Quarantine warning!

People who arrived in island after March 18 urged to stay home

Saturday, March 28, 2020

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INDIVIDUALS who entered the island after March 18 and have not been observing the State's directions to remain in self-quarantine for a 14-day period before mingling will face consequences, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has warned.

Speaking during a digital press briefing at his offices in St Andrew yesterday the prime minister said, while Jamaica has managed to keep its numbers relatively low with only 30 people testing positive for the COVID-19, the numbers could change overnight because of such individuals.

“The biggest threat to our numbers spiking would be from persons who returned to Jamaica within the last 18 days, those who have not kept themselves in quarantine and are symptomatic and are spreading the disease,” Holness stated.

As a result, he said the Government had decided to trace and track these individuals.

“We have decided that we will be examining all the manifests of passengers of aircraft that have come in and we will be announcing the flight numbers, and we are asking citizens to pass on the information of persons who have come into the island recently who are not self-quarantining,” the prime minister said.

“I use this now, not as a threat, but as advice — those who have come into the island between the 18th of March and the 23rd, the police and the Ministry of Health have been instructed to go through the manifests and match names and addresses to determine if you are self-quarantining. If you are not, the ministry officials and the law enforcement will take the necessary steps; if not in compliance when checked a second time, steps will be taken for you to be quarantined in state facilities and you will be charged,” Holness said.

In the meantime, he said note had been taken of the added strain on the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) whose duties have increased in the past few days.

“Yesterday, we had our National Security Council meeting and we spent almost all the time discussing our security forces, and quite a bit of emphasis was placed on the JCF. The commissioner informed me that he has trained a number of officers — in the hundreds — to specially respond to the COVID-19 threat and that response would be the necessary gears and the protocol to respond to it.

“ I couldn't tell you whether or not the number is sufficient or how well dispersed they are around the island, but in treating with the crisis, law enforcement and public order will be critical to us coming out of the crisis and when we are talking about law enforcement and public order it is the JCF. Now is the time when we will have to rely on the JCF,” Holness said.

The police, he said, will be provided with the proper gears and training to allow them to effectively execute the task.

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