THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN HEALTH MINISTER TOURS QUARANTINE SITES
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, toured locations designed as quarantine sites in preparation to address potential threats arising from the coronavirus outbreak. He visited sites at the National Chest Hospital and the Norman Manley International Airport. According to Dr. Tufton, supplies and two rooms at the hospital are at the ready in case of coronavirus and that border protection staff, equipment, and three rooms and six beds in an isolation area have been put in place at the airport. Tufton stated that he was satisfied that these preparations are adequate.
PERMANENT COUNDARY MARKERS FOR COCKPIT COUNTRY IN PLACE
According to Jamaica’s Forestry Department, boundaries for the Cockpit Country have been established by the placing of permanent markers. The boundaries include 100 kilometers of land to be included in the official marking of the area, which is considered a valuable ecological resource. The markers are consistent with the mandate imposed on the Forestry Department in 2017. The Department continues to aid the Jamaican government in the relevant designated protected areas.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARIBBEAN SUFFERS MAJOR EARTHQUAKE
The Caribbean region experienced a very strong earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale on January 28, 2020. The quake’s tremors were felt over a large area ranging from Cuba to Mexico. The epicenter of the quake Originally reported as a 7.2-magnitude quake, in was centered 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay in Jamaica, and 87 miles west-southwest of Niquero in Cuba. There were no initial reports of serious damage or injuries. A tsunami warning was issued for the area, but it was cancelled after a short time.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BEIJING EMBASSY CREATES STRON LINKS TO JAMAICANS IN WUHAN, CHINA
According to Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Embassy in Beijing, China, has “strengthened its outreach to Jamaicans in the Wuhan area of Hubei province,” which is the center of the coronavirus outbreak. The Minister reported that Whatsapp groups have been created to address issues relating to food and supplies in the area affecting Jamaicans. The embassy has also provided a list of 24-hour hotlines is available to provide Jamaicans with guidance and aid during the coronavirus crisis. Jamaicans in Wuhan also have received direct help as part of the Embassy’s outreach efforts.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
WORKERS FROM JAMAICAN EARN MORE THAN US$300 MILLION FROM SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT IN U.S.
Seasonal employment programs that provide Jamaicans with work in the United States contributed over US$300 million in earnings for those workers, according to a report from the Minister of Labor and Social Security Shahine Robinson. Robinson said that Jamaicans who participate in the US agriculture and hospitality job programs have earned this significant amount in the past five years. The Minister also said that the number of individuals taking these jobs has risen to a total of nearly 7,000 every year.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
KOFFE EP WINS GRAMMY FOR BEST REGGAE ALBUM
Mikayla Simpson, 18, better known as Koffee, was awarded the Best Reggae Album Grammy for her EP entitled “Rapture” at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. With the award, the singer made history in being the youngest reggae act and first female artist to win the ?Grammy in this category. The EP spent 32 weeks on the Billboard Reggae Chart following its debut release at Number 1.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA ATHLETICS ADMINISTRATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT OPPOSES POSTPONEMENT OF 2020 INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Dr. Warren Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association (JAAA), has criticized the decision to postpone the World Athletics Indoor Championships for 2020 in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The postponement is “not a good idea,” according to Blake, because it means the athletes will miss out on a crucial competition in an Olympic year. The decision to postpone the event was made by the athletics international governing body due to the proximity for Wuhan in Chine where the virus originated and Nanying, the site of the scheduled championship competition. Blake acknowledged that the postpone was “inevitable’ due to the situation, but said athletes will be disappointed at missing out on an important competition before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.