Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton says 12 people are still in quarantine as Jamaica continues its efforts to keep the deadly new coronavirus outside the country.

The Minister was speaking on Nationwide this morning.

The Health Minister says none of the 12 people in quarantine are being considered as a suspected case of the novel coronavirus.

Nineteen Chinese tourists were refused landing privileges when they arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston over the weekend.

The Minister says quarantine protocols were applied as per the Quarantine Act and the travelers left the island the same day.

Dr. Tufton says the number of persons who’ve been repatriated now stands at close to 40.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister speaking on Nationwide this morning with  Abka Fitz-Henley and Tyesha Turner.

Dr. Tufton is reassuring citizens that the country’s health sector has the capacity to manage the new coronavirus at this time.

His reassurance follows concerns by Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Morais Guy.

Over the weekend Dr. Guy questioned the Minister’s claim that the country was prepared for the virus.

Dr. Guy also raised concerns about the unavailability of protective gear for first line responders.

He also claims that local hospitals were ill equipped.

Dr. Tufton says the health authorities have been filling the gaps as it relates to supplies.