PNP concerned about lack of coronavirus screening at cruise ship ports

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PNP concerned about lack of coronavirus screening at cruise ship ports

Saturday, February 15, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica –Party People's National (PNP) Shadow Minister of Health Dr Morais Guy says the government needs to urgently respond to the growing disquiet in the cruise shipping industry about the inadequacy of the island's preparedness for the potential spread of the coronavirus.

According to Dr Guy, stakeholders have reported that the industry is facing potential economic fallout as they cannot guarantee Jamaica's readiness to sufficiently screen cruise ship visitors coming into the island.

They have indicated that they are not seeing the levels of preparation in Jamaica as in other countries and passengers have already begun to express concern, Dr Guy said.

“Reports are that there is no screening being done at the ports and there is the possibility that in this environment, infected persons may get to the general population and cause the spread.” Dr Guy said, pointing out that Government needs to ensure that no life is put at risk because of failure to act ahead of time.

“Over the past three days with 10 cruise ships calling at our ports and potentially over 20,000 visitors disembarking, the concern is even greater that we do not have the requisite facilities and resources to process these persons,” he charged.

With the expected cruise ship arrivals over the next weeks, Dr Guy is calling on the Minister of Health to tell the nation what are the actual plans in place at the ports.

“We are calling on the minister to quickly establish quarantine facilities in the west as a matter of urgency as the more points of entry are located in the western part of the island. With the rise in deaths now at over 1400 and total cases over 65000 it is even more urgent that these mitigating measures be put in place,” he said.

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