Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Gazetted Amendment to Jamaica’s #COVID19 Order No. 4: April 28, 2020

An amendment to The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2020 – April 21, 2020 has been gazetted. It is dated April 28, 2020 and a copy of it can be found below.

Disaster Risk Management amendment to gazetted order 4 - April 28 blog pic

Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) (Amendment) Order, 2020

It was posted on the Office of the Prime Minister’s website yesterday and can be found at this link below.

 

Previous Orders & Amendments can be found in earlier blog posts.


Jamaica’s Gazetted #COVID19 Order No. 4: April 21, 2020

A new Disaster Risk Management Order setting out measures to deal with Covid-19 in Jamaica has been gazetted. I have posted a copy here:

 

gazetted covid-19 Order No. 4 21-4-2020 blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2020 – April 21, 2020

The Gazetted Order is available online on the Office of the Prime Minister’s website.

The OPM website Covid19 Order No 4 blog pic

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.


UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19: Approaching Code Red Teleconference, April 19, 2020

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 b

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 c

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”.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 d

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 e

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?

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 f

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 g

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 h

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 i

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 j

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.

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 k

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!

UWI Mona Faculty of Medical Sciences Covid-19 Approaching Code Red teleconference 19-4-2020 l

Context for the Conference

April 18, 2020 – Ministry of Health & Wellness press release

MOHW Covid-19 press release 18-4-2020 p 1MOHW Covid-19 press release 18-4-2020 p. 2

April 19, 2020 – Ministry of Health & Wellness press release

MOHW Covid-19 press release 19-4-2020

The Ministry of Health and Wellness website has a specific Covid-19 page on which information can be gained.

My blog post on March 11, 2020 focused on information available at the time, including the first Faculty of Medicine Covid-19 conference.

Information Sharing Events: #COVID19 #Jamaica

 

 

 

 

 


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Jamaica’s Gazetted #COVID19 Order: April 14, 2020

The new order detailing additional measures to deal with COVID-19 in Jamaica first announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on April 14, 2020 has now been gazetted.

Disaster Risk Management gazetted order April 14 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No_ 3) (Amendment) (No_2) Order 2020

I have not yet found it posted on a government website, but when I do, I will share the link.

One thing of interest…although the order was only gazetted in the late hours of April 16 (or early hours of April 17?), it is back dated to April 14. Is that an acceptable practice?

The press release from the Office of the Prime Minister issued last night indicates the timeline for the gazetting.

OPM press release 16-4-2020 - Covid 19

Also, this gazetted order is Amendment No. 2 of Order No. 3, which was dated April 8, 2020. Was there a previous amendment to Order No, 3? If so, what was it?

 


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Jamaica’s Gazetted #COVID19 Orders: March 16 – April 8, 2020

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.)Holness in Parliament 15-4-2020

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.

March 16, 2020

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) Order, 2020 March 16 2020 front page

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) Order – March 16, 2020

March 24, 2020

Covid- 19 gazetted order March 24 blog pic

Disaster Risk Management Act (Enforcement Measures) (no. 2) Order, 2020 March 24 2020

March 25, 2020

Gazetted Covid-19 order March 25 blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) (Amendment) Order, 2020 – March 25 2020

March 31, 2020

Covid gazetted order March 31 blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2020 – March 31 2020

April 1, 2020

Gazetted covid order April 1 blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) (Amendment )(No. 3) Order 2020 – April 1, 2020

April 8, 2020

Gazetted Order Covid 19 April 8 2020 front page

Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 3) Order 2020

The April 8, 2020 order is the only one of the gazetted orders that I have found on a government website. It is on the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Covid-19 page on the Ministry’s website.

 

The Trade (Sale of Goods During Period of Declaration of Disaster Area) Order, 2020 – March 31, 2020

Trade Act order March 31 2020 covid-19 blog pic

The Trade (Sale of Goods During Period of Declaration of Disaster Area) Order, 2020

This order came into effect on March 31, 2020, but I do not have a gazetted copy of it. This copy is posted on Parliament’s website, along with other non-gazetted copies of some of the other orders.Parliament Resolutions & orders 15-4-2020 blog pic

Related Documents

Disaster Risk management Act 2015 blog pic

The Disaster Risk Management Act, 2015

Horace Levy’s Letter to the Editor, Jamaica Observer, April 15, 2020 – Beware rule by edict! 

 


So Much Happening So Quickly! #COVID19 #Jamaica

A friend called me late Friday afternoon (March 13, 2020) simply to share her feelings of unease. We agreed that it felt as though we were on the brink of a major event or shift, that it felt as though we were living into a period of grave change. Much has happened since that call that bolsters the feelings we were experiencing that Friday the 13th afternoon.

Somewhere in the wee hours of that day, Jamaica’s Ministry of Health & Wellness had issued a press release giving a delayed update regarding the status of Covid-19 cases in the country, indicating that there were six new cases on the island.

MOHW press release - covid 19 update 13-3-2020

Jamaica has confirmed six new cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the island.

The cases, which bring to eight the number of confirmed cases, include:

  • Two males, aged 63 and 67, who came into the island on March 7 from Trinidad, having travelled from Malaysia by way of Dubai and London. They presented at hospital on March 11.
  • One male, 36, who travelled from Manchester, England. He was taken to hospital from his hotel via ambulance on March 11.
  • One male, 31, a Jamaican overseas ship worker who came in from the Canary Islands via Portugal and Miami. He arrived in the island on February 25 and presented to hospital with symptoms on March 10.
  • One male, 58, who is the father of the first patient who was confirmed with COVID-19. He was discovered ill at home on March 11.
  • And one female, 34, who is a close contact, also of the first patient who was confirmed with COVID-19 on the island.

The Minister of Health and Wellness Dr the Honourable Christopher Tufton will meet with the media on Friday afternoon to provide further details. He is currently examining the level of preparedness for COVID-19 in western Jamaica.

Ministry of Health & Wellness Press release, March 13, 2020

https://www.moh.gov.jm/jamaica-confirms-6-new-covid-19-cases/

I had watched the rather bizarre press conference held by the US President at the White House that afternoon, which once again illustrated the problematic nature of the federal response to COVID-19 in that country. I had seen reports of the Cayman government’s measures announced that afternoon, in the context of their first confirmed case. (He was a passenger on a cruise ship, who had been hospitalized in Cayman with serious heart problems, who later showed symptoms of COVID-19 and unfortunately died. Medical staff were exposed to the virus while caring for him before he showed symptoms and the hospital has now been closed for two weeks.) The measures included no cruise ships being allowed for 60 days, schools being closed until April 27 and gatherings of 50 or more people being banned.

I had been waiting for the promised press conference by the Jamaican authorities to update the country on the new confirmed cases, initially announced for 2pm, but which got underway after 6pm. You can watch the full recording on the PBCJ YouTube page or on Prime Minister Holness’ Facebook page.

Holness covid 19 - 13-3-2020

Prime Minister Andrew Holness at COVID-19 Press Briefing, March 13, 2020

Some major developments were announced at that press briefing, at which the following officials also spoke: Minister of Health & Wellness Chris Tufton, Chief of Defence Staff of the JDF Rocky Meade, Commissioner of Police Antony Anderson, Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health & Wellness Dunstan Bryan, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Local Government & Community Development Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Science, Energy & Technology Fayval Williams, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investments Daryl Vaz and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.

Some of the developments announced included:

  • the declaration of the entire Jamaica as an area of disaster
  • the quarantining of the communities of Seven & Eight Miles, Bull Bay, St Andrew, because of need to check for evidence of community spread of COVID-19 (related to the first confirmed case in the country)
  • the adding of the United Kingdom to the list of countries on which travel restrictions have now been placed
  • the expansion of isolation areas across the country
  • efforts to increase the number of medical professionals to deal with the situation, including 21 specialist nurses arriving from Cuba on March 24 & requests for retired nurses to return to service
  • the restriction of visits to government golden age homes and infirmaries for the next 15 days
  • special arrangement for increased trucking of water to areas experiencing water shortagescovid 19 seven miles quaratine graphic

 

Since Friday, there have been additional developments related to COVID-19 here:

March 16, 2020 – 5 More Preliminarily Confirmed

In a press release sent out shortly after midnight this morning, the Ministry of Health & Wellness notified that there were 5 more preliminarily confirmed cases in the country. With the two cases confirmed yesterday (March 15, 2020), this brings the current total of confirmed cases in Jamaica to fifteen.

MOHW Covid-19 press release 16-3-2020

March 15, 2020 – 2 More COVID-19 Cases Confirmed; 17 test negative

Press Release from the Ministry of Health & Wellness

“The Ministry of Health & Wellness is reporting that two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the island. This is following the results from the National Influenza Centre, where 19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. Seventeen (17) of the cases tested were negative.

The country now has a total of 10 confirmed cases. One of the new cases was identified through contact tracing relating to the index case (Patient 1), while the second patient presented at hospital with a travel history to Trinidad and Tobago and had symptoms similar to COVID-19. Both persons were isolated and samples collected and tested.

The seventeen (17) other patients, who tested negative, included persons who are from Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Ann and Clarendon and who were identified through contact tracing from confirmed cases, where a similar protocol was observed to isolate and test.

Up to Saturday, March 14, 2020, 27 patients were in isolation facilities. They remain stable, including patients 1 and 2, who no longer have symptoms. Patients whose test results are negative will be released shortly.

The Ministry wishes to remind all persons, who suspect that they have had exposure to COVID-19 and are displaying symptoms to self-isolate immediately and contact the Ministry of Health & Wellness at 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683) or 888-754-7792 for further instructions”

https://www.moh.gov.jm/2-more-covid-19-cases-confirmed-17-test-negative/

We’ll see what today and the week ahead bring.

 

 

 


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Information Sharing Events: #COVID19 #Jamaica

Yesterday (March 10, 2020) Jamaica announced that it had its first confirmed case of the coronavirus COVID-19, a young Jamaican woman who had arrived in the island from the UK…

“…on March 4, presented to the public health system on March 9 and has been in isolation since then.

Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, health professionals suspected COVID-19. A clinical sample was collected and sent to the
National Influenza Centre, where laboratory tests confirmed the diagnosis
today at approximately 11:00 am.”

Minister Tufton – Press Statement re Corona Virus March 10 2020

Today (March 11, 2020) the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.

“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.

There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.

Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals.

In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.

WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.

We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.

Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.

We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.

And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.

WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.

And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.

We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”

WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 11 March 2020

Online link here

Within the last week there have been a number of events aimed at sharing information about the COVID-19 disease generally and about the disease in the context of Jamaica. Most of these events took place before the first case was identified in Jamaica and the situation is developing rapidly around the world and here as well. But I wanted to pull together in one place some of the information events here and that is the simple purpose of this blog post.

March 10, 2020 – Ministry of Health & Wellness Press Briefing on 1st Case of Coronavirus confirmed

MOHW Covid-19 press briefing 10-3-2020

Unfortunately the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica recording doesn’t start right at the beginning of the press briefing, but the full text of Minister Chris Tufton’s statement can be seen in the first document in this blog post. And there is a full recording on Prime Minister Holness’ Facebook page.

March 8, 2020 – Minister of Health’s National Statement: COVID-19 Comprehensive Response Plan

Minister Tufton COVID-19 National Statement 8-3-2020This National Statement was broadcast on Sunday night on most of the main radio and television stations. I cannot find the text of it on the Ministry of Health website, however. Perhaps they will post it at some point.

What I also haven’t yet seen is a published copy of the Comprehensive Response Plan document and I don’t yet know when or if the government intends to make it public. I think it should be made public.

March 5, 2020 – University of the West Indies (Mona) Faculty of Medical Sciences, COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Conference

UWI Faculty of Medicine COVID-19 conference 5-3-2020

Dr Tomlin Paul, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, chaired this conference at which seven presentations were made on a variety of aspects of the situation. The presenters were:  Professor Celia Christie, Dr Carl Bruce, Dr Sandra Jackson, Dr Karen Webster-Kerr, Dr Christine Clarke, Professor Wendel Abel, Professor J. Peter Figueroa and their presentations were followed by a Q & A session. It was a very informative event and was streamed live, which extended the reach greatly.

March 5, 2020 – Meeting of the National Disaster Risk Management Council

National Disaster Risk Management Council 5-3-2020

The Council is headed by the Prime Minister and at the meeting he and a number of other Ministers and agency heads made presentations focused on COVID-19.

The situation continues to evolve and the need for timely official information is ongoing.