THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA HAS SPENT $2.5 BILLION ON CORVID-19 RESPONSE TO DATE
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health reported that it has already spent $2.5 billion to address the COIVD-19 outbreak on the island. The Health Ministry plans to request more funding from the Ministry of Finance, but the additional money will not go toward broad testing of all business processing and outsourcing staff at a firm where a case of the virus was detected because the Ministry decided that only some of the workers at the facility need to be tested.
PROTOCOL FOR RE-ENTRY OF JAMAICANS STRANDED OVERSEAS ANNOUNCED BY GOVERNMENT
Jamaica’s government has developed a protocol designed to permit Jamaicans stranded overseas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to return to the home island. According to Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, a controlled re-entry plan is now available to Jamaican nationals stuck overseas due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Those Jamaicans who live overseas and who want to travel to Jamaica for business or pleasure have been advised to postpone their trips. Returning Jamaicans must agree to a 14-day quarantine in a government-operated facility upon return. They will not be allowed to leave the facility before the 14 days have expired.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
ARTISTS IN CAYMAN ISLANDS USE CREATIVITY AS WEAPON VERSUS COVID-19
The societal lockdown imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the existence of creative artists in the Cayman Islands, a location typically associated with financial services. The lockdown has prompted a new look at the country’s rich and diverse artistic culture. The isolation required by COVID-19 containment policies has offered artists an ”empty canvas” on which artists can place project their inspirations. David Leppan, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, has initiated a project in which artists participate to reduce the feelings of loneliness, depression, and vulnerability brought on by COVID-19.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
ONTAIOR QUANTINES JAMAICAN FARM WORKERS WITH CORONAVIRUS
Approximately 17 farm workers from Jamaica employed at Green Hill Farm in Ontario, Canada, have tested positive for COVID-19, and the country’s Labor and Social Security Ministry has imposed a quarantine on them. These workers were among those returned to Canada in January 2020 under the North American farm work program. The Jamaican liaison in Ontario is working with the farm’s owners and local health officials to monitor the workers. The employers agreed to continue paying the works for 40 hours per week during the quarantine and provide food, shelter, and medication during this period as well.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
CHINESE COMPANY NOW CONTROLS KINGSTON FREEPORT
The Chinese firm China Merchants Port Holdings holds majority control of Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), the entity responsible for managing the Port of Kingston under a 30-year concession agreement made with Jamaica’s government. The agreement has a duration of 30 years. The action was made possible through the sale by CMA CGM, a French-led shipping and port management organization of its interest in Kingston Freeport to a subsidiary, Terminal Link. The United States government has expressed concerns about Chinese investments in Jamaica and has warned the island’s government about them.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
REGGAE SUMFEST RESCHEDULING PROMPTS CHANGES IN DANCEHALL CORONATION
Reggae Sumfest, the top reggae and dancehall music festival in the world, traditionally recognizes the “royalty” of the genres during its staging each summer. While organizers were set to address issues with past naming of royals in July 2020 by officially crowning Spice as the new Queen of Dancehall, the rescheduling of the event due to the coronavirus pandemic required postponement of the presentation of the title until 2021. This places the organization in the position of announcing two queens. Spice will receive the title in recognition of her leading role in the music industry.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA TALLAWAHS RESPOND TO GAYLE’S CRITICISM
Cricketeer Chris Gayle has criticized the Jamaica Tallawahs management, but the local franchise has countered the remarks by the departing former team captain. Gayle expressed his feelings that he had been victimized by the team’s management and that assistant coach Ramnaresh Sarwan was a major reason he was not retained by the Tallawahs. The Tallawahs have refuted his claim that Gayle’s omission had a political motivation and that the assistant coach had no part in the team’s decision regarding Gayle.