St Catherine on lockdown after jump in COVID-19 cases; PM says don't panic

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a lockdown of the parish of St Catherine after several cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the area today.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton reported that there were 32 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the country's total number of cases to 105. The majority of the new cases are associated with a business processing outsourcing (BPO) entity in St Catherine. 

Holness said the lockdown will start at 5:00 am on Wednesday, April 15 and will continue for seven days until 5:00 am Wednesday, April 22.

“It was always expected that there would be a spike,” the prime minister said.

“I don't want panic, what I want is concern, what I want is for people to take concern, what I want is for people to listen to what the Government is saying and follow the orders, the recommendation, and follow them faithfully,” he continued.  

The prime minister said during the period of the lock-down, two days, Wednesday, April 15 and Saturday, April 18 will be designated to pursue essential activities.

“Even in a complete lock-down, there will be need for the essentials of life. Movement will only be permitted in pursuit of the essentials of life, which are food, medicine and medical needs. There is no other reason to be on the road,” Holness said.

He added that all individuals in public spaces must have photo identification including;; a government issued ID, (passport, drivers licence or voters ID)  issued by government ministries, departments and agencies,  and registered university IDs.