THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
COVID-19 CASES IN JAMAICA REACH 26
According to Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 case on the island is 26. There has been one death attributed to the virus thus far. The most recent patient had recently returned from a trip to New York. Discussing the breakdown of cases, Tufton noted that of the 150 tests given, 124 were negative and 26 were positive. Results are pending for the other tests. Seventeen people are in government quarantine, with 142 self=isolating at home, and 254 people released.
CARIBBEAN EXAMINATION COUNCIL ADJUSTS PLANS IN LIGHT OF PANDEMIC
The Caribbean Examination Council announced its plans for the administration of the 2020 May-June exams in view of the COVID-19 outbreak in the area. The organization has been working with representatives from the education ministries in the region to develop a concession strategy in regard to the exam dates. At least one common paper will be administered. This is the Multiple Choice Assessments. Also, the school Based Assessments and paper 032s will be awarded. Some projects are exceptions to the process, including modern languages such as Spanish, French and Portuguese, Human and Social Biology and Visual Arts. The council stated that 3-testing will be used to reduce processing time.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
FIRST COVID-19 DEATH REPORTED IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Trinidad and Tobago reported its first death from COVID-19, identifying the patient as an elderly male/ This brings the total number of deaths from the virus to three. One death has also been reported in Guyana and one in Jamaica. According to Terrance Deyalsingh, the nation’s Minister of Health, Trinidad and Tobago has reported 60 cases of the virus, and he encouraged the country’s residents to follow all recommendations about personal hygiene, social distancing, ,and sanitation as issued by health authorities to mitigate the spread of the disease.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
DIASPORA HELPS JAMAICANS STUDENTS DISPLACED IN U.S.
There are over 40 Jamaican students pursuing their education in the United States that have been displaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These students’ needs are being addressed by the Northeast Jamaica Diaspora, which has secured temporary housing for 41 students who were required to leave their dormitories when their educational institutions shut down in the face of the virus outbreak. These students are from all parts of the US. In addition to temporary accommodation, the students were given “care packages” and offered counseling.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
BUSINESSES CONTINUE TO RECEIVE SUPPORT FROM JBDC DURING PANDEMIC
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation is using its Facebook and Instagram platforms to provide help to small and mid-sized businesses in Jamaica. It is also looking for additional ways to maintain communications and provide support to MSMEx during the COVID-19 emergency. According to Valerie Veira, CEO of the JBDC, the organization will not conduct in-person meetings with business representatives, but will utilize other media to maintain its supportive policies.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN MINISTER OF CULTURE SAYS NO DECISION YET ON 2020 STAGING OF EVENTS
The dates of annual festival events in Jamaica have not yet been determined, as the Culture Ministry has yet to decide on its approach to the situation in the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually scheduled for August, the staging remains in limbo, as the Ministry has already suspended activities related to the national festival of the performing arts. The ministry retains a wait=and-see attitude in regard to other cultural activities normally taking place every year. According to Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, she is monitoring the situation closely, but at present, things are at a standstill. She noted that all current efforts are aimed at constraining the spread of COVID-19.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
SPORTS EVENTS PUT ON HOLD DUE TO VIRUS OUTBREAK
The Jamaica International Invitational and the World Athletics Under-20 Championships are the latest track-and-field events to be impacted by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease has caused major disruptions in the scheduling of significant sports events, notably the 2020 Olympic Games, which have been postponed until 2021. According to Donald Quarrie, liaison for the Invitational, which was not held in 2019, they meet was put on hold until further notice. The decision was made in the best interests of the athletes, officials, spectators, and sponsors.