Jamaica extends curfew
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Andrew Holness led administration extended the islandwide curfew and all other previously announced measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act until Sunday, January 31.
The curfew was set to expire on Friday.
However, in a statement on Thursday, officials said an extension was needed while the Ministry of Health and Wellness continued to assess the degree of spread of COVID-19 over the holiday season.
Up to Wednesday, January 13, Jamaica recorded 63 new cases, pushing the total to 13 915 with 1 841 being active. There were also five additional fatalities, moving the total to 322.
With the extension, the islandwide curfew hours will therefore remain in place commencing at 10 p.m. (local time) and ending at 5 a.m.
All other measures, including the prohibition on parties and events, the public gathering limit of 15 persons as well as measures relating to travel, burials and weddings are unchanged and remain in effect until the end of January.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says that six private laboratories now have the benefit of 30 000 antigen test kits to support national testing efforts for COVID-19 following a donation from the Ministry today.
“This is another example of public-private partnership around testing as part of our COVID-19 response as a country. It is another case of our working together as a team, as a country to protect our population — our locals and those who visit,” said Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton.
It was indicated that the donation of 30 000 SD Biosensor test kits will support the laboratories’ offer of testing beginning next Monday, January 18, pending the arrival of their own supplies within two weeks.
The labs are Microlabs Limited, Biomedical, MDLink, Winchester Medical, Technological Solutions Limited and Baywest Wellness.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, Helen Christian, Chief Executive Officer for Biomedical, welcomed the donation.
“This is much appreciated. It will help as to rollout and ramp up the testing across Jamaica for our fellow Jamaicans as well as for our tourists and to ensure we work together to combat this COV1D-19 pandemic,” she was quoted as saying.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is also working with four other private entities to offer PCR testing — the gold standard in testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 — within another two to four weeks. (CMC)