The Prime Minister announced the measures at a press briefing on Monday evening (April 20, 2020). The draft order was the subject of discussion in Parliament late into the night on Tuesday (April 21, 2020) and was subsequently gazetted. The gazetted order is dated April 21, which does raise the question of whether it was gazetted that night before midnight, or whether it was actually gazetted the following day (April 22) and back-dated. And whether that matters or not…
This is a link to the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica’s (PBCJ) recording of that sitting of Parliament. Prime Minister Holness’ statement regarding Order No. 4 begins at about 4:16:30 in the video.
Yesterday (Sunday, April 19, 2020) the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI Mona) held a very timely and informative teleconference on Covid-19. This teleconference was held in collaboration with the Mona Information Technology Services and was live streamed and the recording of the teleconference is now available online.
Dr Tomlin Paul, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, was the moderator for the teleconference and he referred in his opening remarks to the previous conference the Faculty had hosted on March 5, 2020 – Covid-19 Pandemic Preparedness Conference. At that time Jamaica had not yet had a confirmed case of Covid-19, but shortly afterwards the pandemic emerged in the region. As Dr Paul said, the context for yesterday’s teleconference was one in which there were now cases throughout the region and the focus was on where things currently stood – nationally, regionally and globally – and relevant actions to be taken.
The first presenter was Dr Karen Webster-Kerr, National Epidemiologist for Jamaica and she spoke about monitoring and assessment of Covid-19 in Jamaica and the current status of the epidemic the country.
Presentation begins at approx 5:30 minutes into the video recording
Next was Professor Celia Christie, Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Public Health), whose presentation was titled “Unraveling the Natural History of Covid-19”.
Presentation begins approx 16 minutes into the video recording
The third speaker was Dr Kelvin Ehikhmetalor, a lecturer in the Dept of Surgery, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, who is the Director of the Intensive Care Unit of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). He spoke on Therapeutics and Pharmacological Treatment of Covid-19.
Presentation begins approx 35 minutes into the video recording
Then Dr Josh Anzinger of the Department of Microbiology (Virology) gave his presentation: Who to Test, What Lab Test & When?
Presentation begins at approx 1:10:00 in the video recording
The fifth presenter was Professor Peter Figueroa, who is Professor of Public Health, Epidemiology and HIV; he spoke on Success Stories in the Containment and Control of Covid-19.
Presentation begins at approx 1:33:00 in the video recording
Professor Figueroa was followed by Dr Sandra Jackson, a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology. Her presentation was on the Behaviour of Sars-Cov-2 from Wuhan to Jamaica.
Presentation begins at approx 1:54:00 in the video recording
The seventh presenter at the teleconference was Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer, Professor of Aging and Public Health. Her presentation was titled: Protecting the Vulnerable – Seniors and Pre-existing Conditions.
Presentation begins at approx 2:16:00 in the video recording
The next presentation was given by Pro-Vice Chancellor Ambassador Richard Bernal and he spoke on the Post Covid-19 Pandemic Economic Outlook.
Presentation begins at approx 2:40:00 in the video recording
Professor Wendel Abel, Professor of Mental Health and Head of the Department of Community Health & Psychiatry, was the final speaker at the teleconference. He spoke on Hope in Uncertain Times.
Presentation began at approx 3:05:00 in the video recording.
It was a good conference, covering a wide range of topics, providing a lot of information, some of which was fairly technical, but a lot of which was accessible to the layman and general public. Congratulations to the Faculty of Medical Sciences for the second of their Covid-19 conferences!
Context for the Conference
April 18, 2020 – Ministry of Health & Wellness press release
April 19, 2020 – Ministry of Health & Wellness press release
So far I have found only one government website that has posted a copy of any of the gazetted orders issued by the Government of Jamaica in the past month to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. I believe that this is unacceptable, when these orders are the legal documents setting out the many measures that have been implemented to deal with the serious public health threat posed by this new virus. Although details of the measures have been publicised in different ways by the government, the gazetted orders ought to be clearly posted online as soon as they have been Gazetted. I do not understand why this is not being done, despite the need having been pointed out to members of the Government for weeks.
In Parliament after 7 o’clock tonight (April 15, 2020), Prime Minister Holness stated that the order he broadcast yesterday, implementing a lockdown of the parish of St Catherine, has not yet been gazetted. He says that he is presenting the order in Parliament to allow for discussion and possible amendment before gazetting. (Once I obtain a gazetted copy of the order, I will share it.)
In the meantime, I am posting copies of all but one of the Gazetted orders made between March 16, 2020 and April 8, 2020 here on my blog and I thank the Twitter follower who shared them with me. (One caution. I think that these are all of the orders, but I am not absolutely sure, as there is nowhere on any government website that a list or copies of the orders has been posted. Not a good situation for the public.)
The gazetted orders are posted below in chronological order.