Health Ministry seeks to assure measures in place to respond to coronavirus threat

Dr. Christopher Tufton
The Ministry of Health is seeking to assure the country that adequate measures are in place to respond to the threat of the coronavirus.
Chinese officials say the coronavirus, which has spread to almost 3,000 people, is infectious in its incubation period - before symptoms show - making it harder to contain.
Some 81 people have died from the virus. 
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton said critical health workers in Jamaica have been placed on alert and the authorities will be "taking note of flight plans that involve persons coming in from China" and "will do the necessary quarantine and inspection as necessary based on the assessment of the border protection health workers." 
In addition, he said arrangements are being made in hospitals for isolation areas, which were developed a few years ago in response to the Ebola crisis. 
He said work is also being done in the media with advertisements highlighting the precautions to prevent persons contracting the virus as well as possible symptoms. 
Dr. Tufton expressed confidence in Jamaica's ability to deal with the issue, noting that the country has a "good system" as it relates to public education, border protection and ensuring hospitals can adequately respond.   
He said a statement will be issued later this week after he has briefed Cabinet. 

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