COVID-19 Update: Jamaica Now Has Community Transmission


This afternoon, the day after Election Day, Minister of Health and Wellness informed us at a press briefing that Jamaican has entered a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, called “community transmission.”  I have been wrestling with this term for a little while – at first thinking that it was a highly technical term that … More COVID-19 Update: Jamaica Now Has Community Transmission

At-Risk Groups Will Soon be Able to Self-Screen for COVID-19


This is such good news. I am sharing with you all, because it cannot come soon enough. Telemedicine has been talked about for long enough in Jamaica – now at last here is the opportunity provided by this pandemic to protect vulnerable groups – who should not be leaving home, and who don’t wish to … More At-Risk Groups Will Soon be Able to Self-Screen for COVID-19

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15


Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It’s a rather awkward phrase to pronounce, but a very important day that focuses on an issue that is often ignored and forgotten. Two years ago, I wrote about this as a “hidden problem.” As founder of the non-governmental organization Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) Jean Lowrie-Chin has … More World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15

COVID-19 in Jamaica: We Knew What We Were Up Against


On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, I attended a Media Breakfast at Kingston’s Knutsford Court Hotel on COVID-19. The aim of this session hosted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness was to explain and update the media on the Ministry’s response plan to COVID-19. It was also, by the way, the last public event I … More COVID-19 in Jamaica: We Knew What We Were Up Against

Jamaica Will Close Its Borders on March 21; Now With 19 Cases of COVID-19


At this evening’s press briefing, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that Jamaica would be closed to incoming passengers by air and sea for the next two weeks, from midnight tomorrow night. And here is an update on the latest numbers. We have three new cases as of this evening, bringing the total to 19. Meanwhile, … More Jamaica Will Close Its Borders on March 21; Now With 19 Cases of COVID-19

Health Ministry Issues Interim Guidelines for Cruise Ships Visiting Jamaica


The cruise shipping industry, which had been flourishing in the Caribbean in 2019, is proving to be a major headache for island ports (and for the cruise passengers). The economic fallout must be tremendous for cruise ship lines – and for those agencies, tourism companies and individuals who depend on them for income. If the … More Health Ministry Issues Interim Guidelines for Cruise Ships Visiting Jamaica

COVID-19 Jamaica Update: More Countries Added to Travel Restrictions


As the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads rapidly beyond China, Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton released the following statement this morning (Thursday, February 27, 2020): We wish to use this opportunity to provide the country with an update on the novel coronavirus/COVID-19. EXPANDED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS The Ministry of Health and Wellness wishes to advise … More COVID-19 Jamaica Update: More Countries Added to Travel Restrictions

Coronavirus, Influenza and Dengue Fever Updates for Jamaica


It seems that the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is by no means finished with us yet. Earlier today, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at a press briefing (full audio here) that:  “As of 6am Geneva time this morning, there are 24,363 confirmed 2019-nCoV cases in China, and 490 deaths. … More Coronavirus, Influenza and Dengue Fever Updates for Jamaica

A Nervous Tuesday: That Virus, and an Earthquake


It started off as quite a normal Tuesday. I attended the launch and signing of the contract for a major health program – the Health Systems Strengthening Programme – at the Courtyard Marriott. I will provide more details in my next blog post; suffice it to say that it is the largest health infrastructure program … More A Nervous Tuesday: That Virus, and an Earthquake

Health Ministry Alerted to New Strain of Virus Causing Respiratory Illness


These viruses are quite distressing, aren’t they? They are certainly making health officials nervous. Since yesterday, when the Ministry of Health and Wellness put out this release, a case of the coronavirus has emerged in Washington State in the U.S. – the first outside of Asia; a man who had recently traveled to China has … More Health Ministry Alerted to New Strain of Virus Causing Respiratory Illness