Opposition Spokesman on Health Dr Morais Guy has expressed his support for the Government’s Monday (December 21) decision to immediately ban all incoming flights from the United Kingdom in light of the new, more infectious strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has triggered worldwide panic.
Dr Guy, in welcoming the travel ban, said that as some 30 countries implemented varying levels of restrictions on Britain, it was advisable the Jamaica do the same.
Guy further noted while Jamaicans visting home from the UK is always a delightful and festive occasion, the coronavirus pandemic and its impact in Jamaica has given enough reasons for health officials to be cautious and to err on the side of safety.
“The Jamaican health system is now under severe stress with several hospitals near capacity and health staff currently managing over 2,700 active cases. Of those tested positive, 77 are in hospital with six listed as critically ill,” the PNP statement read.
“Lives and livelihood have to be balanced in this COVID-19 era, and threats to our nationals must be approached with the seriousness it deserves based on data and evidence available to the ministry through Jamaica’s international partners,” Dr Guy added.
The PNP further argued, that amid the surges in cases associated with this new strain of COVID-19, it urges the government to review the UK travel database and track every visitor to Jamaica within the last five days.
“Contact tracing and testing should be done with urgency,” the opposition recommended.
Jamaica joined Grenada in becoming the only two Caribbean countries to enact a travel ban on Britain as health officials confirmed a new strain of COVID-19 was 70 per cent ‘more infectious’ than those already in circulation.
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