(JAMAICA GLEANER) — Some 140 medical professionals who arrived Saturday morning from Cuba to bolster Jamaica’s response to the outbreak of COVID-19, are to be quarantined before being deployed.
The team will be quarantined for 14 days in keeping with protocol for persons arriving from COVID-19 affected countries.
The practitioners arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston at about 11:30 a.m and were greeted by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton and Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, Inés Fors Fernández.
The Ministry said the Cuban professionals comprise 90 nurses specialising in critical care, emergency, medical-surgical and primary care; a team of 46 doctors who are internists and haematologists, and four therapists.
Jamaica now has 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including one death, following the announcement of the confirmation of three additional cases yesterday. Several more have been isolated or quarantined.
The entire country has been declared a disaster area, while schools remain closed and entities have been instructed to allow only essential employees in workplaces. Others are mandated to work from home if possible.
Two communities, Bull Bay in West Rural St Andrew and Corn Piece in South East Clarendon have been quarantined.
Effective 11:59 p.m. tonight, Jamaica’s air and sea ports will be closed to incoming passenger traffic as part of efforts to limit local spread of the disease. The measure will be for a period of 14 days in the first instance.
Incoming and outgoing cargo, as well as outgoing passengers will be allowed.
Travel restrictions also remain in place for several countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, had also issued an invitation to retired nurses and medical professionals, who are still able, to assist in hospitals and health facilities. It’s not clear whether any of them have taken up the invitation.