Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, says Jamaica isn’t immune to the COVID-19 outbreak that is wreaking havoc on a number of countries around the globe.

He made the comments during an address to the nation last evening.

The Health Minister says the rate at which the virus is spreading is a cause for concern.

He says more than thirty new countries have been impacted so far, three of them in the Caribbean.

These include the Dominican Republic, St Barts, and St. Marteen.

The Health Minister says Jamaica will do its best to respond appropriately to the global health emergency.

The Health Minister says up to March 1 this year, there have been more than 87,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally and close to three thousand deaths.

He says to minimise exposure, the Health Ministry is collaborating with a wide cross section of stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Meanwhile, Dr Tufton is urging Jamaicans to maintain a high level of vigilance in their surveillance and response measures.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister, speaking in an address to the nation last evening.

He says individuals should maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from persons who are coughing or sneezing.

And, frequently perform hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer, even if hands are not visibly soiled.

Local Businesses Growing Anxious Over COVID-19

In the meantime, local businesses are bracing for what could be the start of a fallout from the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Managing Director of EdgeChem, Doreen Frankson says a number of her company’s US-based suppliers buy paint from China.

She says her US suppliers are projecting delays of up to six months.

Ms. Frankson says this will undoubtedly affect local businesses.

But, she says importers are actively seeking alternative supply sources outside of mainland China.

Doreen Frankson, Managing Director of Edge Chem.

She’s also questioning whether there are quarantine protocols in place for business persons travelling to secure supply lines.

Meanwhile, CEO of Boss Furniture Company Limited, Omar Azan, also said there are major issues with shipments coming from China.

And, he says more needs to be done to temper the impact of COVID 19 on local enterprises.

Omar Azan, CEO of Boss Furniture Company Limited

They were speaking last evening on Nationwide @ 5 with Cliff Hughes and Tyrone Reid.