April 30, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
In Jamaica there has been a proactive approach to the fight against the Coronavirus. Despite confirmed cases inching up.
Confirmed cases now 396 up by 32 from the figure last reported according to Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister. Jamaica has another 300 left to be tested for COVID 19 according to PM Holness at a recent press conference. Over 200 confirmed cases linked to a workplace in St. Catherine, believed to be a Call Centre.
Canada Opening Up For business
Despite the death toll across the respective Provinces, it has been deem that the curve is flattening according to Dr. Theresa Tan, Canada’s chief health official. Ontario is taking steps to open up. Quebec’s deaths are about 1300, just about half of the entire country. Montreal is their epicentre, but up to a 1000 troops are helping in the long term facilities which is responsible for 70% of the Provinces deaths. They are looking at a phased reopening. Saskatchewan, Alberta and PEI are more advanced with their reopening plans. Some golf courses are already open. Deaths in these provinces or Territories are very low.
One Jamaican deported from USA last week tested positive for the COVID 19 pandemic. The individual, believed to be a male is in isolation in a government facility.
On the Economy front … Jamaica
Dr. Nigel Clarke, Finance Minister
A Public Sector Group named to supervise the return of the economy to normal … post COVID 19
Supplementary Targets in the recently minted budget will be recast with a special look at expenses. The We Care programme will go to the Parliament for adjudication.
Vaz heads team to see to the inspections of all Call Centres which are scheduled to reopen next Monday. Since then at least one Call Centre has an employee test positive for the C19 pandemic. This sole case may not disrupt the scheduled reopening as considerable pressure has been brought to bear on the Holness Cabinet re open the Call Centres in particular who alone employ some 40, 000 and is a great source of foreign exchange income and taxes to the government.
Britain’s Situation on Covid-19
In Britain a third of all deaths are in Care Homes up to two thousand such deaths.
Business Fallout in Jamaica
Kentucky Fried Chicken
The manager of KFC in Jamaica Mark Myers has reported a 50% drop in sales due to the C19 pandemic. Patrons can no longer sit and eat in their some 30 or so outlets in Jamaica. Jamaicans love their chicken.
Drop in sales
As a result of this drop in sales KFC is considering laying off or cutting staff. In short to lay off workers. HR and Operations managers to meet to iron out details, according to Myers. Restaurants of Jamaica, are the operators of the KFC Franchise in Jamaica. This is an unheard of development. KFC is a big employer in Jamaica. Things must be getting very bad for them to be considering this move. They are considered a very stable employment enterprise.
We think the governments are listening and will be aggressively trying to gradually open their economies. These economies cannot be allowed to stay shut indefinitely. To so do, cannot make for sound economic sense.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior National and International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper Canada.