There are serious concerns in the Andrew Holness administration this afternoon over whether to lock down the country’s Business Process Outsourcing, BPO, sector. 

Our news centre understands that more than 20 Alorica call centre workers have tested positive for COVID-19 based on prelimary results. The confirmatory tests results are due tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, Nationwide News understands that 6-new confirmed cases are to be announced later today, four of which are said to be call centre workers.

Two previously confirmed cases were also call centre workers. In the meantime, Nationwide sources have revealed that the health authorities, led by Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, are pushing in Cabinet for the entire BPO sector to be shut down. 

But, our news centre understands there is resistance to that push. 

The Holness-led Cabinet is locked in a meeting at this hour in a bid to determine what course of action to take. 

A media advisory issued by the Office of the Prime Minister this afternoon revealed that a digital media conference is schedule to begin in just under an hour from now to provide an update on the country’s fight against COVID-19.

The View From An Industry Insider

In the meantime, President of the Global Services Association of Jamaica, GSAJ, Gloria Henry, is seeking to clarify that only one Business Process Outsourcing, BPO, company of the over 70 operating in the country, is being directly impacted by coronavirus cases.

The GSAJ was previously known as Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica.

Ms. Henry was speaking on Nationwide This Morning with Abka Fitz-Henley and Danielle Archer. 

Ms Henry says they’ve been taking steps to ensure member entities adhere to the Health Ministry’s guidelines to safeguarding staff from the deadly virus.

But she notes that Alorica’s not a member of the GSAJ. 

She says all their safety measures were shared with Alorica and the entity was assessed by a public health officer.

Gloria Henry, President of the Global Services Association of Jamaica GSAJ formerly the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica.