THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
5,000 OVERSEAS RETURNEES COULD BE PROSECUTED FOR FAILING TO CONTACT HEALTH MINISTRY
According to Dunstan Bryan, the permanent secretary in Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, 5,000 individuals who returned to the country from overseas between March 18 and March 23, 2020, could be prosecuted for their failure to contact the Ministry. These people could face fines of $1 million or a year in prison. Bryan said police have received instructions to serve notices about the pending action against those who continue to violate the law, noting that they are putting the country at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. He went on to say that the Health Ministry, the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Jamaica Customs, and the National Security Ministry are working to create a list of the people who entered the country during that specified period in March. They will be checked at their homes for their quarantine status. Prime Minister Andrew Holness called for individuals returning to the island to self-isolate and to contact health officials.
STATE MINISTER GREEN CALLS FOR JAMAICANS TO REPORT PRICE GOUGING
Floyd Green, Jamaica’s Minister for Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, is urging Jamaicans to report incidents of suspected price gouging to the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC). Green emphasized the importance of reporting such incidents and asked the public to provide receipts with their reports to show the basis for their suspicions. The CAC is the agency responsible for enforcing the new price-gouging resolution included in the Trade (Sale of Goods During Period of Declaration of Disaster Area) Order 2020.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
WARSHIPS FROM UNITED STATES DEPLOYED TO STOP DRUG TRAFFICKING IN CARIBBEAN
The United States has sent warships to the Caribbean under the direction of the country’s president, who stated, “”We must not let the drug cartels exploit the [coronavirus] pandemic to threaten American lives.” The action followed a charge by the US against Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro and other officials for “narco-terrorism.” The government of Venezuela called the action a “diversion” to distract attention from the US response to the COVID-19 spread in the country.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S. SAYS BORDER CLOSING CAUSES UNCERTAINTY FOR JAMAICANS
According to Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, the embassy is working to clarify the status of Jamaicans currently in the US following the closure of Jamaica’s borders by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in response to the spread of COVID-19. ..Many Jamaicans were left stranded as a result of the action, which went into effect on March 24, 2020. Marks said the embassy had contacted the US Citizenship and Immigration Service and the US embassy in Jamaica to help these people.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
FINANCE MINISTER OFFERS AID TO INFORMAL SECTOR
Dr. Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s Finance Minister, announced that members of the informal sector are being offered financial grants to help them adjust to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those eligible for the grants include barbers and hairdressers, taxi operators, bar operators and market vendors. Clarke noted that Jamaica recognizes that some people are “informally employed” and so the government is developing a program to help this group survive the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. The amount of the grant has yet to be determined.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
COVID-19 CLAIMS LIFE OF REGGAE PIONEER DELROY WASHINGTON
Delroy Washington, a pioneer of reggae music, has died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Washington died at St. Mary’s Hospital in London following a short illness after attending a large banquet gathering for a member of the reggae community. Washington was diabetic, which enhanced his risk of serious virus complications. His death was a shock to the worldwide reggae community.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB PLAYERS COULDFACE PAY CUT
As all sectors of Jamaica’s economy adjust to the impact of coronavirus on the nation’s economy, Clyde Jureidini, the general manager of the Harbor View FC, said that the Premier League Clubs Association plans to meet to address the issue of pay. The discussions will include determining the extant to which the clubs will be able to continue compensating the players. He also noted that the clubs intend to continue paying players, but representatives of the teams will ultimately decide of they can afford to pay full wages or just some percentage of the total amount.