Total fuels COVID-19 fightFriday, April 17, 2020
JAMAICA's capacity to conduct mobile sample collection for COVID-19 testing got a $1-m boost on Tuesday when petroleum marketing company, Total Jamaica Limited, presented Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton with gas cards to aid the Ministry of Health and Wellness's new initiative to combat the novel coronavirus.
The hand over took place at Total Jamaica's headquarters on Hope Road in St Andrew.
Tufton said the first mobile unit collected approximately 20 samples on Tuesday in Cornpiece, Clarendon, an area which has been under quarantine after yielding six positive tests and Jamaica's first death from the virus.
The Health Minister revealed that four other units are to be deployed and that Total Jamaica's contribution couldn't have come at a better time, as the country grapples to deal with the virus that has so far killed five people and infected 143.
“We have four other units so, over this week, you will see additional units going out in different parts of the country. The idea of being equipped to go out, in terms of petrol, is very important. Either way, the Government would have to provide it, so Total's contribution, they have the distribution network, and therefore we can access those resources through their network across the country, so it's a good gift,” he said.
Total Jamaica's managing director and chief executive officer, Chris Okonmah, said his company's Total Cards can be used at any of its 73 stations islandwide and are ideal to assist the logistic challenges the Government faces.
“Since we have a good spread of network all over the island, we think it would be a good thing to use Total Cards to fuel the fight, especially after seeing that they were going into the phase of mobile testing. We know that it will be a lot of logistics and that is what prompted us to give this assistance to the Government of Jamaica,” he said.
“We all know what has happened in the world regarding COVID-19. We have watched the way the Government of Jamaica, in particular the Ministry of Health, has tackled it, to contain the spread of this deadly virus on the island, so we decided to partner with the Government, to give fuel worth $1-m, by way of our Total Card, which will make it easier for them to disburse resources,” he continued.
Tufton, meanwhile, said fuel for mobile units will play a big role in contact tracing.
“It's a worthy contribution. A big part of the public health response right now is logistics, going out in the field, doing contact tracing. We have hundreds of public health personnel in the field,” he pointed out.
Total's postpaid card provides a tamper-proof and monitored cashless solution for clients, starting with as few as two vehicles up to a fleet of hundreds. Postpaid packages are offered in gold, silver and platinum, tailored to meet clients' needs.
The card's security feature is a three-layer system: chip-based technology; a three-strike blocking system, inclusive of driver and company codes; as well as an electronic windscreen tag, which works in tandem with hand-held machines.
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