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COVID-19: Press Releases And Documents Related To Official Government Actions

COVID-19: Press Releases and Documents Related to Official Government Actions

Click here for COVID-19: Official Press Releases From The Ministry Of Health And Wellness

In reverse chronological order:

April 16 – BPOs Closed in St. Catherine

PM Holness Extends Opening Hours for Restocking in St. Catherine and BPOs Ordered Closed

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that all Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operators in St. Catherine have been closed effective yesterday, April 15, 2020.

 

Prime Minister Holness explained in Parliament yesterday (April 15) that the closure is to facilitate an investigation into the management structure to identify the cause for the rapid COVID-19 spread.

“The closure is necessary for us to access and determine whether or not there was a systemic breakdown in the management, supervision, and practices in BPO operations in the parish and to contain the spread of the virus within the sector as we know that staff is circulated to branches,” said Prime Minister Holness.

According to Prime Minister Holness, all employees at the affected call centre have been placed under quarantine for 14 days.

The Prime Minister also advised other BPOs in operation across the island that it is in their best interest not to accept any employee from the St. Catherine BPO in question until the quarantine period has ended as it would put them in violation of the quarantine act.

Moreover, Prime Minister Holness announced an extension of the time for restocking to limit crowding in public places on Wednesday, April 15 and Saturday, April 18. The amendments are as follows;

  • Persons 65 years and older, pregnant women and the disabled will be permitted to conduct the essentials of life between 8 am and 10 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • Persons with surnames beginning with A to H will be permitted to pursue the essentials of life between 10 am and 1:30 pm.
  • Persons with surnames beginning with I to P will be permitted to pursue the essentials of life between 1:30 pm and 5 pm.
  • Persons with surnames beginning with Q to Z will be permitted to pursue the essentials of life between 5 pm and 8:30 pm.
  • Businesses that can operate will, therefore, be open at 8 am and close at 8:30 pm on Wednesday and Saturday only. This is to facilitate those of the Seventh Day Adventist Faith after Sabbath. The employees are permitted to arrive at 7 am and leave at 9 pm.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness noted that new regulations such as temperature checks before entry, strict spacing/social distancing will be implemented in BPOs. 

In that regard, the Government is putting call centres on notice that the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority will be reviewing their operations to ensure that they are in keeping with the standards set out by the Ministry with the requirements of their license.

extracted from https://opm.gov.jm/news/pm-holness-extends-opening-hours-for-restocking-in-st-catherine-and-bpos-ordered-closed/

 

April 15 – St. Catherine Lockdown

St. Catherine has been Placed Under Lockdown for Seven Days

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the parish of St. Catherine has been placed under lockdown for seven days from 5 am Wednesday, April 15 to 5 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020, to slow the spread of COVID-19.The announcement comes on the heels of Jamaica reaching 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a recent 33 coming from St. Catherine. The health officials have traced the recent jump in cases to a call centre operating in Portmore.

The objective of the lockdown is to slow as much as possible the spread of the virus,” said Prime Minister Holness

During the lockdown, one person from each household will be allowed to conduct the essentials of life on Wednesday, April 15 and Saturday April 18, 2020. In addition;

  • If a person is ill with respiratory illnesses or flu-like symptoms, they are required to stay home and isolate themselves from others in their household.
  • All persons in St. Catherine out in public places must have an ID with a visible photograph. Acceptable IDs include; voters ID, passport, driver’s license, ID from a Ministry or Agency, University ID, and School ID.
  • Medical Emergencies will be facilitated as they arise.
  • Persons 65 years and older, pregnant women and persons with disability  will be permitted to conduct the essentials of life between 8:00 am and 10:00 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • The police and military are to allow the elderly to be accompanied by persons where needed.
  • Persons with surnames beginning with A to M will be permitted to pursue the essentials of life between 10:00 am and 1:30 pm.
  • Persons with surnames beginning with N to Z will be permitted to pursue the essentials of life between 1:30 pm and 5:00 pm.
  • All persons must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in public places.
  • Businesses that are permitted to remain open will have a duty to put in place social distancing measures as persons use their services.
  • Markets in the parish of St. Catherine will be closed and almost all commercial activities will come to a halt with the exception of corner shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, medical health centres, and gas stations.

In the meantime, the Commissioner of Police and Health Department have been charged with thoroughly investigating the St. Catherine outbreak and pursue charges if necessary.The Prime Minister also underscored that all entry and exit points into and out of the parish of St. Catherine will become checkpoints. Essential workers passing through these points will have to submit to temperature checks.

The list of persons exempted will be published.

The general curfew hours of 9:00 pm to 5:00 am remain in effect.

extracted from https://opm.gov.jm/news/st-catherine-has-been-placed-under-lockdown-for-seven-days/

 

April 7 – Nightly Curfew Extended

Government To Extend Islandwide Nightly Curfew

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the Government will extend the current islandwide nightly curfew.

Other measures to address the COVID19 pandemic including work from home, closure of the island’s borders and others will also be extended in accordance with the relevant Orders.
The Prime Minister will give details on the measures during an update to the nation tomorrow.

extracted from: https://opm.gov.jm/news/government-to-extend-islandwide-nightly-curfew/

 

March 31 – Nightly Curfews

PM Holness Announces Nightly Islandwide Curfews for 7 Days

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced nightly islandwide curfews for a period of seven (7) days with effect from 8:00pm on April 1, 2020 to 6:00am on April 8, 2020. This is the latest in a series of measures announced by the Government to contain the novel coronavirus, COVID19, in Jamaica.

The imposition of the curfew means, there will be restrictions on all movement of persons except for those in the medical services (doctors, nurses), persons in the Business Processing Outsourcing industry and other personnel who fall under the essential services, beyond the hours stipulated. Exempted persons will be required to produce valid identification. There will also be restrictions on public transportation.

The Prime Minister made the announcement last night (Monday, March 30) during a virtual press conference at Jamaica House.

Further to the announced amendment under the Disaster Risk Management Act, Prime Minister Holness informed that persons who arrived on the island between March 18-23, are now mandated to report to the Ministry of Health and Wellness via the website; http://jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm or by contacting 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683) and to “faithfully disclose all information that is required” including their health status and whether they have been observing the guidelines for self-quarantine.

Importantly, the Prime Minister noted that the country is reaching a “turning point” at this stage of the spread of the virus. He underscored that to date, 362 samples have been tested and of the amount 36 tested positive, 9 results are pending and the rest returned negative results.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that, the opening hours of markets will now be extended from the previously announced 6:00am to 2:00pm, to a new time of 6:00am to 6:00pm from Thursday to Saturday. The Prime Minister observed that this extension will allow persons more time to complete their shopping without violating the rules of social distancing.

The Prime Minister reiterated that movement should be limited to homes as this will lessen the chances of the spread of the virus in the country. He again called on all Jamaicans to be responsible and to adhere to the measures announced by the Government.

extracted from: https://opm.gov.jm/news/pm-holness-announces-nightly-islandwide-curfews-for-7-days/

March 19 – Jamaica Issues Second Quarantine Order

Jamaica issues second (community) quarantine order

The Government of Jamaica has issued a second (community) quarantine order, this time for the Corn Piece settlement in Clarendon.

The imposition of the order was announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in Parliament on Thursday, March 19.

The announcement comes in the wake of the death of a 79-year-old man with a travel history from New York and who was confirmed to have the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on March 18.

Since his death, also on March 18, members of his family, who reside in Corn Piece, have refused to comply with the requests of the public health team on the ground to remain at home.

“These persons would have been exposed to a symptomatic person and have a high risk for infection … The persons so exposed may be incubating the virus,” the PM said, explaining the justification for the quarantine.

“At this time, we are unsure of the number of persons in the community who have been so exposed and require that the community and the family comply with the quarantine order to conduct the necessary contact tracing and investigations,” he noted.

The PM, who expressed his sympathy for the family of the deceased man, was quick to add that the quarantine was not a ‘sentence’.

“We are not sentencing anybody. We are not taking away your liberty. You are not going to be abused. This is for your own benefit. The Jamaican state cannot take any risks with this disease,” Holness noted.

Corn Piece – like Seven and Eight Miles, Bull Bay in St Andrew before – will be under quarantine for the next 14 days. During that time, the public health investigations will be completed, even as residents are monitored closely for any signs of COVID-19. Early detection of symptoms will allow for early isolation and prevention of the transmission of the virus.

The boundary for the quarantine runs from its starting point along the private railroad track that is located to the east of the community then heads in a southerly direction for approximately two hundred and thirty metres (230m).

It continues in a southwesterly direction to a point just south of the Corn Piece Settlement community along the gully way and then in a northerly direction along another gully way for a distance of approximately 530m to a point west of the three-way junction leading into the Corn Piece Community. It then runs in an easterly direction and terminates at the start point at the private railroad track.

Jamaica has confirmed sixteen (16) COVID-19 cases. Eleven (11) of that number are imported cases and five (5) are contacts of the first case that was detected.

There are 39 persons currently in isolation at hospitals across the island, Twenty-five (25) of that number are in Government quarantine facilities and ninety-nine (99) in home quarantine.

Contact tracing is underway for all cases while five hundred and seventy-seven (577) contacts are being followed.

extracted from: https://www.moh.gov.jm/jamaica-issues-second-community-quarantine-order/

March 15 – Travellers Must Self-Quarantine

Travellers from countries with COVID-19 must self-quarantine

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is advising that effective Monday, March 16, all travelers from countries where there is local transmission of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) will now be required to self-quarantine for up to 14 days.

If during that time they develop symptoms, they are to contact the Ministry at the COVID-19 line: 888-754-7792 or at 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683). Additional numbers to call are 876-542-5998, 876-542-6007 and 876-542-6006. Be advised that these numbers are experiencing heavy call volumes but the Ministry will get to your call as soon as possible.

Jamaicans who may have had contact with anyone who is symptomatic are also asked to self-quarantine and to contact the Ministry.

The Ministry, with the backing of the whole of Government, continues to move aggressively to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and urge the public’s continued cooperation to safeguard public health. Members of the public are therefore reminded to:

  • Maintain a distance of at least one metre from persons who are coughing or sneezing.
  • Frequently perform hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or using a hand sanitiser if hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then discarding it.
  • And resist the habit to touch your face.

Further, public gatherings and non-essential travel are discouraged.

In addition to the numbers provided, information and updates on COVID-19 can be found at the Ministry’s website at https://www.moh.gov.jm and social media platforms @themohwgovjm. Members of the public may also email covid19@moh.gov.jm or jacovid19facts@gmail.com for information.

extracted from: https://www.moh.gov.jm/travellers-from-countries-with-covid-19-must-self-quarantine/

March 14 – UK Added To Travel Restrictions

United Kingdom added to Countries with Travel Restrictions

The United Kingdom will be added to list of countries, which travel restrictions have been imposed by the Government, as Jamaica continues to combat the spread of COVID-19. This is to become effective on Monday, March 16, 2020.

Persons who have arrived in Jamaica from the UK in the last 14 days are to self-report immediately to the Ministry of Health and Wellness by calling 888-754-7792 or 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683).

In the meantime, the travel restriction means that:

  1. all Jamaicans who visited the countries of interest in the last 14 days would have landing privileges in accordance with the law but would be subject to a health assessment and quarantine;
  2. persons who visited countries of interest in the last 14 days and who do not have permanent residency or marriage exemption in Jamaica would not be granted landing privileges at any of the country’s ports of entry;
  3. non-Jamaicans who have permanent residence and marriage exemptions who were landed and who had visited countries of interest in the last 14 days would be subject to a health assessment and quarantine;
  4. persons who visited countries of interest and who are granted landing privileges and are classified by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as high risk will be quarantined in Government facilities; and those who are assessed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as low-risk will be quarantined at home under the supervision of the Parish Health Department;
  5. individuals returning from countries of interest who are granted landing privileges and who display any symptom of the novel coronavirus 2019, as per the case definition published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO), would be placed in immediate isolation at a Health Facility; and
  6.  Flight Crews who have transited through countries of interest will be landed in island but will be under self-quarantine arrangements. The following is expected in self-quarantine:
    • Stay alone in a well-ventilated room (Air Conditioned Unit on or Windows Open for airflow
    • There should be no sharing of bathroom facilities i.e. each room must be equipped with its own bathroom facility.
    • Delivery of food to the room via room service only
    • Persons do not leave the room except to return to the airport for the flight
    • HAVE NO contact with other members of the public inclusive of flight crew, friends and family.
    • WASH hands using soap and water before and after using the bathroom, coughing and sneezing
    • AVOID touching eyes and mouth especially after sneezing or coughing.
    • If symptoms of acute respiratory infection, including fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing, then:
    • Contact the emergency services immediately
    • Wash hands with soap and water and put on a mask
    • Await help
    • Contact the MOHW at

The aforementioned conditions are stipulated for all vessels including aircraft and ships as per section 8 of the Quarantine Act, sanctioned by the Quarantine Authority.

The other countries, where these conditions apply include the previously announced countries – China, Iran, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea.

extracted from: https://www.moh.gov.jm/united-kingdom-added-to-countries-with-travel-restrictions/

March 14 – Jamaica Declared A Disaster Area

Jamaica Declared a Disaster Area as COVID-19 Cases Increase and Two Communities Quarantined

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced the declaration of the entire island of Jamaica a Disaster Zone as a result of the effects of the global pandemic – the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Already eight persons have tested positive for the virus in Jamaica.

Prime Minister Holness announced the declaration last evening (March 13) under the powers provided to him under Section 26 (2) of the Disaster Risk Management Act. Additionally, two communities – seven miles and eight miles in Bull Bay St. Andrew – will be quarantined immediately.

“It is given our legal framework this now gives the Government authority to take certain measures. One measure is the quarantine of a community which is the seven-and-eight Miles area of Bull Bay. What it means is that the JCF and JDF has been deployed. There will be restrictions on the movement of people in an out of the community”, said Prime Minister Holness.

The quarantined communities will be given special attention by State Agencies with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defense Force being deployed in the areas.

Prime Minister Holness has asked that residents in the affected areas comply with the requests of health officials.

“This is not being treated like a curfew. I don’t want the citizens to feel like this is a security cordon on them. This is for their own benefit as well as for the rest of Jamaica’s benefit. The soldiers and police will be appropriately geared,” said the Prime Minister.

In the meantime, the Government has imposed travel restrictions on the United Kingdom. This brings to nine the number of countries on Jamaica’s restriction list.

Only citizens and persons who have residency or long stay arrangements or marriage exemptions will be landed in Jamaica. All other persons will not be landed at this time.

Persons from the UK who are landed will be required to be quarantined either at a facility or at home.

Additionally, the Ministry of Health and Wellness says those persons who have been landed in the island who feel they may be displaying symptoms of COVID-19 to self-identify and contact the Ministry.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness sought to reassure the nation that once the guidelines are followed the country will get through this health crisis which is affecting countries across the world.

7 Tips: How To Eat Healthy And Enjoyably

The following information was published in The Gleaner Help Guide

How To: Eat Healthy And Enjoyably

It is possible to eat healthy and enjoy the foods you’re eating at the same time. Healthy eating does not have to be a strict system that deprives you of the food you love. The idea is to find a balance in the type of foods you eat.

If you’re dieting, you just need to find a programme that works for you. Remember that starvation and dieting are two completely different concepts!

  1. Set yourself up to actually succeed.

Planning a healthy diet isn’t about a drastic change in how you eat, but it is rather a process made up of small and simple steps. For example, if you enjoy doughnut, but you want top eating them; progressively reduce the amount you eat periodically.

Start slow and make small changes to your eating habits. Depriving yourself of a particular food only makes you crave that particular food more. Every change you make will improve your dieting.

It doesn’t matter how small.

2. Eat with moderation.

What is moderate depends on your eating habits. Remember that the goal of healthy eating is to develop a diet that you can maintain for a lifetime and not for a few weeks. Have smaller proportions (start with what you can handle). Remember that it’s not what you eat, but how you eat.

3. Listen to your body.

Ask yourself if you are really hungry at times. Have a glass of water to see if it’s really thirst or hunger. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full; it take a while for your brain to recognise that you are actually full.

Also, avoid eating late at night.

4. Have a big breakfast and eat smaller portions throughout the day.

5. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

Especially the ones you enjoy. They are rich in nutrients that your body needs.

6. Use and eat more healthy fats.

Avoid unhealthy fats. Some healthy fats are vegetable oils, avocado, peanut oil and olive oil.

7. Limit the amount of sugar and salt.

Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems.

10 Facts On Mental Health

The following information was published in The Gleaner with information from the World Health Organization.

Mental illness is real, here are 10 facts concerning mental health from around the world:

1. Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems

About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Similar types of disorders are being reported across cultures. Neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people.

Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of populations under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every one to four million people.

2. Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide

About 23% of all years lost because of disability is caused by mental and substance use disorders.

3. About 800,000 people commit suicide every year

Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds. There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide, there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. Mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol contribute to many suicides around the world. Early identification and effective management are key to ensuring that people receive the care they need.

4. War and disasters have a large impact on mental health and psychosocial well-being

Rates of mental disorder tend to double after emergencies

5. Mental disorders are important risk factors for other diseases, as well as unintentional and intentional injury

Mental disorders increase the risk of getting ill from other diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vice-versa.

 

How To: Protect Yourself In Case Of A Fire

How To: Protect Yourself In Case Of A Fire

The last thing you want to do at the time of a fire is to be thinking about your escape route, trying to figure out your next move or have malfunctioning equipment.

Plan ahead, with persons that you work with, your family and always include your children in the planning.

One member of Jamaica Fire Department pointed that for homes and businesses:

  • It is always best to have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, automatic fire sprinklers and fire alarm.
  • These must be serviced on a quarterly basis to avoid malfunction in the case of an emergency
  • Have a contingency plan – what do in case there’s a fire
  • It’s always a good idea to try and remain as calm as possible and stick the plan of how to exit
  • Have a direct number for the Jamaica Fire Brigade in close proximity. Calling the operator may delay the response time of the fire brigade

As it relates to motor vehicles:

  • Have a working fire extinguisher and plan an exit strategy for the car, and always remember to involve your children

Other things to pay keen attention to:

  • Test doors before opening them – if hot, use another escape route.
  • If you are trapped, close the door between you and the fire and close cracks to keep out smoke. If you have a phone on your person, call the fire brigade and inform them of where you are. Signal for help with a flashlight if there’s a window in the room.
  • Crawl on the floor to escape smoke – clean air will be nearer to the floor
  • Show children how to crawl through smoke to get clean air, and never leave children alone in case of fire.

Always remember that disaster can happen quickly and without warning. Call the fire brigade at 110 in case of fire.

Source: The Gleaner, The Jamaica Fire Brigade

COVID-19: Official Press Releases From The Ministry of Health And Wellness

COVID-19 Official Press Releases and Other Official Information From The Ministry of Health and Wellness and The Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton

Click here for COVID-19: Press Releases and Documents Related to Official Government Actions

In descending chronological order:

April 17 MOHW Press Release – 163 Confirmed Cases

 

April 16 MOHW Press Release – 143 Confirmed Cases

April 15 MOHW Press Release – 125 Confirmed Cases

 

April 14 Dr Christopher Tufton Twitter Feed – 105 Confirmed Cases

#JaCovid19 Update: THREAD Jamaica now has 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This follows 32 new additions over the last 24 hours.
The new cases are comprised of five males and 27 females, who range in age from 19 to 70 years old. The cases are from St Catherine, and Kingston and St Andrew.
This brings to 34 the number of cases under investigation. Of the remaining 71 confirmed cases: 
  • Thirty-one (31) are imported;
  • Thirty-four (34) are contacts of a confirmed case;
  • Six (6) are local transmission (not epi linked)
ALORICA INTERVENTION:
✓ 258 individuals have been interviewed and sampled.
✓ 65 tests are now completed.
✓ 33 samples have come back positive.
A senior team from@themohwgovjmvisited the entity at the weekend. The entity has since closed.
Arrangements are now being made for the isolation of the newly confirmed cases. The@themohwgovjmis also working diligently to identify each of their contacts for testing while investigations continue to identify other possible exposed persons.
RECOVERY, QUARANTINE, ISOLATION Currently:
  • Twenty (21) persons have recovered;
  • Twenty (20) persons are in quarantine;
  • Sixty-five (65) are in isolation.

OVERALL TESTING We have now tested 1,290 samples, including:

  • the 105 confirmed positives;
  • 1,185 negatives.
MOBILE TESTING As has been previously announced, Jamaica is to expand its testing for COVID-19. As part of those expanded testing efforts, the @themohwgovjm will, beginning this Friday (April 17, 2020).. ..begin mobile testing for COVID- 19 in two health regions (the Southeast Regional Health Authority/SERHA and the Northeast Regional Health Authority/NERHA).

April 13 MOHW Press Release – 73 Confirmed Cases

April 12 MOHW Press Release – 72 Confirmed Cases

April 11 MOHW Press Release – 69 Confirmed Cases

April 10 MOHW Press Release – 65 Confirmed Cases

April 7 Dr Christopher Tufton Twitter Feed – 63 Confirmed Cases

  • We now have 63 confirmed cases in Jamaica for #Jacovid19 #COVID19JAMAICA . That is 4 additional cases since our last update.
  • We unfortunately have had 3 deaths.
  • We have had 9 fully recovered cases, who have been released.
  • New cases: A 48-year-old female; A 26-year-old female; A 26-year-old male; and A 48-year-old female.
  • The new cases – all of whom are contacts of a confirmed case from Kingston and St Andrew – bring to 30 the number of imported cases, 22 the number of import-related cases and 11 the number of cases under investigation.
  • NB: Of the 63 confirmed cases, 30 are imported, 22 cases import-related and 11 are under investigation. A total of 4,500 people have now come forward of about 5,400 in Jamaica who returned on or after March 18.
  • NB: CMO of @themohwgovjm: More than half the cases of #Jacovid19 in Jamaica are mild cases and so, there is no need for them to be in the hospital. Some are awaiting the second confirmatory test.
  • This will reduce the overcrowding on the Medical Ward of the KPH. KPH has allocated 32 beds on one ward for the Management of COVID-19 patients. Another ward has been reassigned to manage Severe Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases.
  • This has reduced the bed capacity of the Internal Medicine Department from eight (8) wards to six (6). An MOU was signed today during the Digital Briefing with Dr Leach, CEO of Andrews Memorial.
  • N-95 Donation – 100,000 N-95 masks are being donated to the Medical Association of Jamaica to outfit our private practitioners, who we need to keep their doors open, as part of the national COVI-19 national response efforts. An MOU was signed today during the Digital Briefing.
  • We recognize that there is a supply side shortage and have therefore opted to invest US 2.2 Million Dollars to make this donation possible, in the public health interest.
  • Call Centres/Hotline & Medical Students: We wish to formally welcome the 80 medical students who are now manning the MOHW Call Centre to the joint effort to #BeatCOVID19 in Jamaica.

April 6 MOHW Press Release – 59 Confirmed Cases

April 5 MOHW Press Release – 58 Confirmed Cases

April 4 MOHW Press Release – 55 Confirmed Cases

April 3 Dr Christopher Tufton Twitter Feed – 53 Confirmed Cases

  • Jamaica now has 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This follows six (6) new additions over the last 48 hours.
  • The new cases:
    • A 57-year-old male from Manchester, who is the contact of a confirmed case;
    • A 57-year-old male from Kingston and St. Andrew, who is a contact of a confirmed case;A 40-year-old male from Kingston and St. Andrew whose mode of transmission  is under investigation;
    • A 23-year-old male from Clarendon who is the contact of a confirmed case;
    • A 42-year-old male from Clarendon who has a travel history to the United States;
    • and A 22-year-old female from Clarendon who is a contact of a confirmed case.
  • To date, seven (7) persons have been Isolated, Treated and RELEASED
  • We also have:
    • TWENTY-FIVE (25) persons are in quarantine.
    • FIFTY-NINE (59) are in isolation.
  • We have now tested 540 samples, including the samples that were tested for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections. Among them are:
    • the 53 confirmed positives;
    • 484 negatives;
    • and 3 pending.
  • The Govt will extend quarantine of Corn Piece for another 14 days
  • Approximately 10% (51) of the 540 persons tested are healthcare workers:
    • 20 doctors;
    • 25 Nurses;
    • 6 Support staff.
    • Only ONE (1), a nurse, has tested positive.  
  • The 1st phase of sanitization of golden age homes and infirmaries have been competed. Hand sanitizing and washing mechanisms have also been installed. – Desmond Mckenzie
  • The Local Government Ministry has rolled out programme to take care of the outdoor poor. We have reached 22,000 Jamaicans. – Desmond Mckenzie
  • We have started a programme to find shelter for persons since the implementation of the nightly curfew. We providesd 100 bed solutions on church street last night. – Desmond Mckenzie
  • On Sunday we will commence the all island feeding programme – Desmond Mckenzie
  • Markets and Social Distancing: We continue to set out protocols on this such as hand sanitizers and washing basins installed. 50 million has provided for trucking of water to all municipalities. – Desmond Mckenzie
  • CMO of @themohwgovjm: If you are going to wear a mask, as a non medical person, the wearing of mask must be in addition to other measures:
    • Hand washing / sanitizing
    • Avoid touching face
    • Avoid Coughing and sneezing
    • Avoid Interactions with ill persons
  • @themohwgovjm recommends the wearing of masks for: persons who are ill, persons who are quarantined & those caring for the sick.
  • Persons who are ill with coughing and sneezing; Persons who are isolated at home with/without respiratory symptoms Household members who care or are in the same house; Persons who are at high risk of developing severe illness and complications of illness such as the elderly and persons with chronic illnesses Again, persons who have had COVID-19 and have been discharged from hospital should wear a mask for two weeks.
  • Govt of South Korea to provide Test kits for 7000 plus tests. Supporting equipment and training for technical personnel to come. – Sen. @kaminajsmith
  • International Atomic Agency will also provide 2000 Test kits – Sen. @kaminajsmith

April 2 MOHW Press Release – 47 Confirmed Cases

April 1 Dr Christopher Tufton Twitter Feed – 44 Confirmed Cases

  • Jamaica how has 44 confirmed cases and 3 deaths for #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • All 6 new cases are related to the quarantined community of Corn Piece Settlement in Clarendon
  • The indexed case shows that the virus is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS. We must confine ourselves to restrictions made by government
  • The testing has been sufficient to date in indicating presence of virus in population. It also allows us to monitor frontline workers and allows general testing for persons with respiratory ailments. However, plans are in place to be rolled to be absolutely certain.
  • Between now and weekend, we should roll out mobile testing.
    @themohwgovjm will engage mobile branded units and they will be deployed across country. Starting with @theserhajm and @mohnerha #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • Persons with the desire to be tested will be examined, if they meet requirements, samples will be taken and test administered. #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • App/website to be published, for persons to sign up if they want to be tested. NB: If you want to be tested, you won’t definitely be tested, you have to meet requirements as said in above tweet. #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • Community Quarantine: Corn Piece quarantine still quarantined, with 6 cases linked to the initial case. #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • Community Quarantine: We are also monitoring 69 households in Portland Cottage, Clarendon. – 279 persons have been interviewed – 7 persons have been placed into isolation #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • @themohwgovjm will shortly sign an agreement with the Andrew’s Memorial Hospital to be used as an extension of the Kingston Public Hospital. As needed patients, who are admitted as KPH will be housed at Andrew’s #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • Parish by Parish Breakdown of the now 44 confirmed cases: Clarendon – 10 Hanover -0 Kgn & St Andrew – 12 Manchester – 4 Portland – 1 St Ann – 5 St Catherine – 4 St Elizabeth – 1 St Mary – 1 St James – 4 St Thomas – 0 Westmoreland – 2 Trelawny – 0 #Covid19Jamaica #JaCovid19
  • Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie CMO of the @themohwgovjm clarifies earlier statement: There 50 households in Corn Piece being monitored. The additional households are in other Clarendon communities of Portland Cottage, Longeville Park and Hague. #COVID19Jamaica #JACOVID19

extracted from: https://twitter.com/christufton/status/1245462918822596609

4 Financial Quotes to Increase Your Wealth

Michelle Sinclair-Doyley of JMMB gives some of her favourite philosophical quotes that have guided her and hopes that they will guide you towards your journey of a wealthier life:

1. “How many millionaires do you know have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” (Robert G. Allen):

Savings accounts are designed for safety and liquidity. However, growing your portfolio will require taking greater risk which can include investing in real estate and the stock market; which in the long run should outperform inflation and depreciation of the J$.

2. “The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.” (Ben Graham):

Well-timed, quick supernormal profits seldom occur. Instead your financial decisions should be guided by facts and solid analysis. Additionally, determine the criteria for the assets to be included in your portfolio, for example, assets selected should meet your investment objective and your timeline, whether 1 year, 3 years or more than 10 years (short term – long-term). JMMB’s website shares market research, stock prices and portfolio strategies to keep you informed and provide you with factual analysis.

3. “Know what you own, and know why you own it.” (Peter Lynch):

It is important to recognize that each asset class (such as real estate, bonds or stocks) and each asset in that class serve a different role. For example, when purchasing stocks it is good to diversify across industries. Ideally, it would be best to include stocks that move in opposite directions. For example, if you have agricultural stocks, a construction stock may be purchased to add balance to the portfolio, in the event of a hurricane, although the agricultural related stock prices may fall, in the rebuilding process, construction related stock prices should increase. Investors should also include different assets in diversifying their portfolio; by including cash to offer liquidity, bonds for consistent cash flow and stocks to outperform depreciation. Unit trusts are also an excellent way to diversify your investment, with the opportunity to benefit from expert management, so that you can reap the best returns on your investment.

4. “Always start at the end before you begin. Professional investors always have an exit strategy before they invest. Knowing your exit strategy is an important investment fundamental.” (Robert Kiyosaki):

With this mindset of the goal at the beginning of the journey, investors should try to purchase assets well below its top price, if not it will be difficult to obtain large profits on the sale of these assets. Additionally, in order to be less emotionally led, set investment guidelines for yourself including your desired profit margin and sell when the market prices reaches your target prices. You can use JMMB’s Moneyline to enter the price for a stock at which it should be automatically sold, making this an automatic process for you.

Taken from JMMB’s Finance Made Simple with Michelle series which appears in The Gleaner. Michelle Sinclair-Doyley, Manager, Client Financial Education, JMMB Group

Zero Hour: Our Region in the Face of the Pandemic

The following is an op-ed piece by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the United Nations’ Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), on the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 crisis

March 25, 2020

“Everything seems to be one gigantic mistake. We console ourselves by saying that everything has happened as it should not have happened. But it is we who are mistaken, not history. We must learn to look reality in the face; if necessary, we must invent new words and new ideas for these new realities that are challenging us. Thinking is the first obligation of the intelligentsia, and in certain cases it is the only one.” – Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude

It is true that history recounts the devastating impact of past pandemics, but none of them broke out in such a populated world (with more than 7.7 billion people) or such an interconnected one, and with a planet that is ailing environmentally. This is the biggest human and health crisis we have ever faced. That assertion must serve as our guiding principle if we are to approach it effectively. It has, of course, profound economic implications, but the center of attention, the focus of public policy decisions, must be on safeguarding one of the most valuable global public goods in existence: people’s health and well-being.

With this in mind, it is fitting to mention that Latin America and the Caribbean will be impacted via five main external channels :

  1. the decline of economic activity in our principal trading partners, especially China;
  2. the fall in prices for our commodities;
  3. the interruption of global and regional value chains;
  4. the steep drop in demand for tourism services, which primarily affects the Caribbean; and
  5. an increase in risk aversion and the worsening of global financial conditions and capital outflows from the region, with the consequent devaluation of our currencies.

The onslaught of COVID-19 came at a bad time. Worldwide, 2019 marked the worst performance in the last decade (2.5% growth in GDP). In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, this performance was even more dramatic. To find worse growth levels than what the region recorded in the last seven years, one must look back as far as seven decades.

Just a few months ago, and after ending 2019 with poor regional growth of just 0.1%, ECLAC estimated that 2020 would witness a modest rebound and the growth rate would reach 1.3% of GDP. Today, a conservative estimate – based on data that is still in the process of stabilizing – tells us that Latin America and the Caribbean will record negative growth of -1.8% this year, with a probable downward bias.

The effects of this crisis on our main trading partners portend a decline in the value of our region’s exports that could reach a magnitude of -10.7%. This scenario entails a significant increase in unemployment along with heightened labor market informality.

The consequent effects of negative growth and higher unemployment translate into an increase in poverty and extreme poverty. If the base data is confirmed, in 2020 the number of poor people would rise from 186 million currently to 220 million, and the quantity of Latin American and Caribbean inhabitants who live in conditions of extreme poverty would rise from 67.5 million to 90.8 million.

This crisis finds us with fragmented health care systems and without universal coverage, where more than 47% of the population currently has no access to social security. A crisis that is particularly vicious for the 58 million people over 65 years of age in our region.

The challenge is enormous, and it demands that we renew our toolbox. Each country will have to creatively explore and expand the framework of its possible responses, recognizing that there are no known formulas, while also recognizing that there are some imperative steps to be taken.

In the current situation, it cannot be overlooked that massive fiscal stimulus is needed to bolster health services and protect income and jobs, among the numerous challenges at hand. The provision of essential goods (medication, food, energy) cannot be disrupted today, and universal access to testing for COVID-19 must be guaranteed along with medical care for all those who need it. Providing our health care systems with the necessary funds is an unavoidable imperative.

When we talk about massive fiscal stimulus, we are also talking about financing the social protection systems that care for the most vulnerable sectors. We are talking about rolling out non-contributory programs such as direct cash transfers, financing for unemployment insurance, and benefits for the underemployed and self-employed.

Likewise, central banks have to ensure liquidity so the production apparatus can guarantee its continued functioning. These efforts must translate into support for companies with zero-interest loans for paying wages. In addition, companies and households must be aided by the postponement of loan, mortgage and rent payments. Many interventions will be needed to ensure that the chain of payments is not interrupted. Development banks should play a significant role in this.

And, certainly, multilateral financing bodies will have to consider new policies on low-interest loans and offer relief and deferments on current debt servicing to create fiscal space.

It is also urgent that unilateral sanctions and blockades, imposed in the world and in our region, be lifted, because they hamper entire populations’ access to goods and services that are indispensable for fighting this sanitary challenge. Today, humanitarian considerations come before any political differences. Health cannot be held hostage to geopolitical quarrels.

This is a complex time, and it comes as our planet is ailing. It is experiencing one of its worst phases in environmental terms, with polluted oceans and rivers, devastated forests, eroded soil, mass extinction of species, and altered climatic cycles. This must be the time to reflect on the unsustainability of the extractivist and unequal development model.

This new health crisis has exposed the fragility of this globalization and of the development model on which it was based. The breaking of supply chains, the decline in global growth, and the performance of financial markets have exposed the global vulnerability of our economies. In light of the evidence of this crisis, the global community will have to face the fact that globalization did not work as promised and it must be reformed.

The decoupling between financial markets and the real economy’s flows must be contained and regulated. International trade is not an inevitable driver of long-term growth without policies for diversifying and transforming production. Inequalities, between countries and within them, aggravate the fragility of the global system and must be rolled back.

This pandemic has the potential to transform the geopolitics of globalization, but it is also an opportunity to survey the benefits of multilateral action and make room for needed debate on a new, sustainable and egalitarian development model. Because, “if necessary, we must invent new words and new ideas for these new realities that are challenging us.”

Read more from UN-ECLAC: COVID-19 Will Have Grave Effects on the Global Economy and Will Impact the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean

 

List: COVID-19 Response Measures

Here’s a list of COVID-19 response measures announced by the Government of Jamaica and the Private Sector – so far – to help us navigate this challenging time. This does not include the health sector response. These are only the measures to support other critical aspects in the economy that impact lives and livelihoods. It will be updated regularly but check with Jamaica Gleaner for the very latest. Listed in date order, newest first. Please read all original articles for important details.

Article:

COVID Relief For Informal Sector – Cabbies, Barbers, Barmen In Good Standing To Benefit.

““The Government is going to give a grant to individuals that they are not entitled to, that they have not earned, but a grant due to the circumstances,” the finance minister explained, adding that registration authorities would help with verifications.”  Read more here

Article:

BOJ Takes Pre-Emptive Measures To Keep Financial System Humming – Expects Economy To Contract 3%, Led By Tourism Fallout

“The eight measures outlined by Byles on Thursday – some of which were previously announced by the central bank – include direct sales of foreign exchange to authorised dealers and cambios, as needed; alongside a halt on investment transactions that require the purchase of foreign exchange.”  There are more.  Read here.

Article:

Hi-Lo Offers Discounts To Senior Citizens, Healthcare Workers

Hi-Lo has is now offering a 10 per cent discount to healthcare workers islandwide. It is also extending a five per cent discount to senior citizens on all purchases made between 8 and 10 a.m. daily. A release from GraceKennedy yesterday said both special offers will be in place until further notice.  Read more here

Article:

Sagicor Life Implements Coronavirus Measures

According to a release from Sagicor, among the measures is the granting of an additional 30 days grace period for life insurance clients to pay premiums. “Premium payments can be made online using Client Web, a free and convenient platform that also enables policyholders to receive payouts electronically. Online payments can also be made using Paymaster and Bill Express online services. Clients may also pay premiums using bank transfers, standing orders and salary deductions.”  Read more here

Article:

Education Ministry Partners With RJRGLEANER Communications Group To Provide Educational Content To Students

Highlights:

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has partnered with the RJRGLEANER Communications Group to deliver live interactive teaching sessions across all media platforms for high school students in Jamaica.

The agreement will see the RJRGLEANER brands, Television Jamaica (TVJ), The Gleaner’s Youth Link, Music 99FM, jamaicagleaner.com, televisionjamaica.com, Television Jamaica You Tube, Jamaica News Network (JNN) and 1spotmedia provide live and pre-recorded content to students.

Read more here:

Article:

Banks Forgo Asset Tax Cut To Provide $3b For Jamaica’s COVID-19 Response.

Highlights

  • “This will allow the government to add $3.02 billion to the $7 billion already announced as contingency to deal with COVID-19.”
  • “Special Consumption Tax (SCT) will be waived on 100,000 litres of alcohol which will be donated to National Health Fund.”
  • “Customs charges on liquid soaps, sanitisers, masks and gloves have been waived for 90 days.”

Read more here

See Screenshot of Fiscal Stimulus Measures

 

MORE:

Article:

JN Bank Suspends Some Fees

  • “Since Saturday, MultiLink fees have also been suspended for persons using JN Bank debit cards at MultiLink ATMs or to make purchases in stores…until Sunday, March 22.”
  • Suspended all fees to conduct in-branch transactions.

Read more here.

MORE:

Article:

BOJ Expanding Access To Local, Foreign Currencies By Financial Institutions. Measures listed in the link.

MORE:

NCB Waives Some Fees Amid COVID-19 In Jamaica. Measures for personal, corporate and commercial customers, small and medium enterprises.  Read link for details.

 

 

 

Tree Planting (and Maintenance), Climate Action and Me

Tree planting is a long standing activity that has been promoted by the non-profit and public sectors. Did you also know that March 21 was established as the International Day of Forests by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and is celebrated annually?

Seedlings collected at the Forestry Department for National Tree Planting Day activities in Treasure Beach. Photo: Do Good Jamaica

In the public sector, this has been done primarily by the Forestry Department of Jamaica via National Tree Planting Day – which was first observed in 2003 – and its Private Planting Programme and other activities. Did you know that, each year, the first Friday in October is observed in Jamaica as National Tree Planting Day?

Other public sector entities promoting tree planting include the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries MICAF) and its agency, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), primarily for fruit-bearing trees.

The recent announcement of the Government of Jamaica’s ‘Three Million Trees in Three Years’ National Tree Planting Programme has sparked significant interest in tree planting activities. This resurgence of interest in tree planting is great news for many reasons. It represents an activity that can:

  • help to mitigate climate change – as long as it is done properly; discussed in the final paragraph below;
  • contribute to food security and livelihoods;
  • improve air and water quality;
  • reduce land slippage and soil erosion – we all want to protect our property and infrastructure as best we can;
  • provide ecosystem benefits. An ecosystem is a community of both the living (plants, animals, etc) and non-living (soil, etc) components which are connected and interact through the food web, nutrient cycles and energy flows;
  • provide recreational and aesthetic value (forest therapy etc); and
  • preserve our heritage. How many of us have heard about the Kindah Tree in Accompong which is of tremendous importance to the Maroons? And how many of us have a navel string tree or even know what it is?

And to think that those are just a few selected potential benefits.

Naturally, the question then becomes, what does this mean for me, personally? What do I need to consider in deciding whether or not I want to plant and maintain 1 tree or 1,000 trees? Here are a few things I’ve learned, that I tend to think about, and that may be useful to you as well:

Purpose: What sort of functionality do I want from this tree? What type (a.k.a species) of tree is of interest to me? Would I like fruit, lumber/timber, shade, aesthetics, carbon sequestration (this refers to carbon that is stored by trees), or a combination of those and other benefits? Different trees have different characteristics.

Hammock between coconut trees at Treasure Cot, Jakes Treasure Beach

Maintenance: What type of tree do I want to care for? Yes… they do require care especially until they are well established, and they may require care beyond establishment. What is establishment? Establishment is the point at which a seedling requires less care than it did initially (think of caring for a newborn baby versus a more independent toddler). Why might they require care beyond that point? If you have done the work to establish a healthy tree, you want to ensure that you can enjoy maximum benefits for as long as possible.

Care and maintenance are critical. Photo: The Nature Conservancy

Location and environment: Where do I want to plant this tree (hillside or flat land for example)? What sort of environment do I have available? Is it usually wet because there is a lot of rain, or is it drier because there is very little rain? What kind of soil is there and what will grow well in it? Is it a sunny or a shaded location? Also remember that some seedlings will grow into trees that require a lot of space so proper spacing is also important. Different trees have different needs.

Mango tree in St. Elizabeth, the bread basket where farmers are experienced with dealing with drought conditions. Photo: Gary Dean Clarke

When to plant: Planting season in Jamaica usually corresponds with the two (2) traditional rainy seasons… because this makes it easier for the seedlings to become established. Consequently, in Jamaica, planting is traditionally encouraged between April-May and September-November. It is important to note that in recent years there have been some changes to the amount, frequency and seasonality of rainfall in many parts of the island and with the continued impact of climate change we will have to continue to adjust accordingly.

Be careful with bamboo. It is an invasive species and spreads fast.

Plant to strengthen not weaken existing ecosystems. We should also remember that removing and damaging “bush” might actually mean damaging an important functioning ecosystem. The last thing we want to do is cause environmental damage by improperly conducting an activity that is actually aimed at benefiting the environment. For example, removing mangroves (remember that mangroves are trees!) also removes a natural coastal defense system and this might result in coastal erosion (including loss of our beaches in some places), damage to our coral reefs and other marine ecosystems (there’s that word again), and loss of fish and shellfish nurseries and habitat (i.e. natural homes or environment).

Other considerations: Other users and/or consumers of seedlings and trees and the places where they grow may also include our four-legged friends such as goats; some consideration should therefore be given to securing your investment accordingly. Also consider the potential impact of improper planting techniques and choices. The first and most obvious is the reduced likelihood of survival and yield. We want to ensure that the technique we use is the most appropriate technique for the scale, location and type of tree being planted. In many places, seedlings are still planted manually – this is certainly the norm in Jamaica and it has been successful.

There are many ways to be responsible stewards of our environment, and to play a part in mitigating against and adapting to climate change individually, within our communities, as a nation, and globally. This is one avenue that may be explored.

Remember… technical expertise is available.  So if you are not sure about planting and maintaining trees, we encourage you to ask. Some organisations with these technical resources that readily come to mind include the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP), the Forestry Department, the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA), and/or the University of the West Indies (for mangroves especially). There are also resources for organic and permaculture techniques. And… if you do not feel comfortable to plant and maintain a tree yourself, consider supporting ongoing tree planting and maintenance initiatives.

Written by Allison Rangolan, Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP).  This post is to “promote effective science-based environmental management” and is part of a series to commemorate JIEP’s 20th Anniversary in 2020. Connect with them on social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and look out for more information and events.

Note:

For more about International Day of Forests and annual themes, see here.

The Prime Minister made the tree planting initiative announcement on September 27, 2019 as he delivered Jamaica’s Policy statement at the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and officially launched the Programme on October 4, 2019. This Programme complements the role that Jamaica assumed in 2018 at the request of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: “France and Jamaica will co-chair an initiative to support a political process to “ensure that governments fulfill their pledge to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action.””

The National Tree Planting Programme is complemented and bolstered by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) fruit tree planting initiative which runs concurrently and was announced by the Minister of Agriculture in late 2018. The objective of this initiative is to plant 5 million fruit trees across the island.

 

The Importance of Coral Reefs – Value, Threats, Actions To Take

Coral reef on Pedro Bank. Photo: © Tim Calver

Coral reefs are beautiful, complex ecosystems that support countless plant and animal species and are essential for maintaining a healthy ocean. Found mainly in shallow, warm water, healthy coral may be seen in a myriad of vibrant colours, shapes, sizes and designs. Known as “rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean but are home to almost 25% of all known marine species- one of the most biodiverse marine areas on the planet, housing hundreds and even thousands of species.

Reefs supply millions of people worldwide with food, livelihoods and protection against environmental threats. The Caribbean itself is made up of over 2.5 million square kilometres of ocean and hundreds of islands, which are especially dependent on coral reefs. The fishing and tourism industries are the major driving forces behind economies across the region, and these industries cannot survive without healthy and thriving coral reefs.

A recent study led by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) revealed that coral reefs in Jamaica generate $550 million annually for the country’s economy: $433 million from reef-adjacent activities, like beach visits, and $117 million from on-reef activities, like snorkeling. Over 575,000 people participate in reef-associated tourism each year, making Jamaica one of the top six most-visited countries in the Caribbean for activities linked to coral reefs. Coral reefs with the highest tourism value in Jamaica generate over $5.7 million per square kilometre per year and fall within the top 10% of the Caribbean’s tourism-valued reefs.

Coral reef on the Pedro Bank. Photo: © Tim Calver

In addition, reefs help protect vulnerable communities against the devastating impacts of climate change, including erosion, flooding and extreme weather events – like 2004’s Hurricane Ivan, 2005’s Hurricane Dennis, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 which caused many deaths and billions of dollars in infrastructural losses.  Climate change and other threats to our marine ecosystems have pushed many coral species around the globe to the verge of extinction, and the world is witnessing a dramatic loss of coral reefs that will continue to escalate at a dangerous pace unless action is taken.

See next pages for Value of Coral Reefs, Threats to Coral Reefs and Initiatives We Can Support

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