Local phone lines announced to help with the registration of Jamaicans in China go unanswered today as the coronavirus outbreak continues to batter sections of China. 

It’s unclear the total number of Jamaicans in the CoVid 19 hit China at this time who remain unaccounted for and two numbers issued by the local authorities to help Jamaicans file concerns or register loved ones in the Asian country went unanswered today.

Several calls to the numbers today repeatedly went to voicemail.

When our newscentre sent an email enquiring of the Ministry whether the phone lines worked, they responded: “To the best of my knowledge, the telephone numbers are working as persons have been calling to register themselves or their family members.”

Efforts to get a comment from the Minister proved futile.

A callback on the matter has been promised by the Director of Public Relations and Media Affairs, Delona Flemming.

A media advisory dated January 30, 2020 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade quoted the Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith as saying they’ve been in contact with 29 Jamaicans in the Wuhan area of Hubei Province, China. 

Wuhan is the epicenter of the deadly novel coronavirus.

Senator Johnson Smith advised that the Ministry was closely monitoring the welfare of the Jamaican Community in China regarding the spread of the Coronavirus there.

She also mentioned efforts by the Ministry to strengthen outreach for Jamaicans in China and notes that a WhatsApp group has helped in maintaining contact with the Jamaicans. 

Senator Johnson Smith is quoted as saying the number of persons in the chat has also increased and they’ve added persons in China who had not previously been registered with the Embassy. 

She mentioned assistance was being given by the Embassy in China and the chat being crucial to facilitating the registration of Jamaicans in Hubei and elsewhere in the Asian country.

Help to provide food and other assistance to the Jamaicans by the Chinese was also mentioned. 

She went on to encourage persons in Jamaica who have families or associates in China, to make contact with them and inform the Ministry here in Kingston of any new circumstances.

The Minister also encouraged persons to contact the Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry to register them at the following telephone numbers and a specially designated e-mail address- 876- 564-4221 and 876- 472-3584.