Jamaica will, as of 11.59 pm Saturday, March 21 close its air and seaports to incoming passenger traffic for two weeks, as concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the island grows.
Outgoing traffic and cargo will be allowed during the period of the closure.
The announcement was made Friday afternoon by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during the regular daily press conference at Jamaica House.
At the same time, the prime minister announced that Jamaica now has 19 cases of COVID-19, up from 16 overnight.
Two of the three new cases are imported ones.
Of the total 19 cases, six were transmitted locally. All but one of the six locally transmitted cases are linked to patient one – the Bull Bay St Andrew woman who arrived in the island from the United Kingdom on March 4 for a funeral. Among those who have since tested positive for COVID-19 are her father.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said that in the coming days, and with the likelihood that there will soon be community spread of the disease, there will be increased emphasis in relation to the elderly and persons at risk as it relates to individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Meanwhile, final year medical students will be used to assist in the COVID-19 fight and a quarantine centre will also be established at the University of the West Indies.