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Foreign Ministry’s Update On Welfare Of The Jamaican Community In China

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is today providing an update on the welfare of the Jamaican Community in China in light of concerns raised regarding the spread of the Coronavirus across that country.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith today advised that the Jamaican Embassy in Beijing has been in communication with members of the Jamaican community in China, directly or through other members. Most importantly, the Ministry has been assured that those from and about whom they have had reports, are well and in generally good spirits notwithstanding some concerns, understandably, about possible developments in the coming days and weeks.

Minister Johnson Smith noted, “We are aware of 27 Jamaicans including students and teachers in the Wuhan area, the epicentre of the outbreak, who are keeping in touch with each other and the Embassy, by way of a WhatsApp group for support and communication purposes. “We are also monitoring official information including that published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Chinese Authorities, and are encouraging persons in Jamaica who have families or associates in China to make contact with them to determine their situation and inform the Ministry here in Kingston of any new circumstances.” She explained that the Ministry will be providing a special number for this purpose, by tomorrow.

The Minister advised that Nationals should continue to monitor information and advisories issued by the Chinese officials and cooperate in all efforts to contain the spread of the virus. She indicated that the
Embassy would issue further information or guidance to the Community as soon as it becomes available. The Minister said, “We share with all Jamaicans and international colleagues, concern regarding the coronavirus and are therefore monitoring the matter closely from a community welfare perspective, as well as from a world health perspective”.

In closing, Minister Johnson Smith said that the Ministry is remaining in touch with our Embassy in Beijing and the Government of China as we monitor the situation. She also noted the critical role of the WHO, PAHO and the Ministry of Health which will make regular announcements and arrangements regarding any restrictions or mandates affecting our Nationals and the monitoring of Jamaica’s borders in relation to this matter of international concern.


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