ONE-MINUTE READS ... News from across the island

September 22, 2020
Members of the security forces conduct a search along Greenwich Road in St Andrew  where a State of Emergency was declared in 2018.
Members of the security forces conduct a search along Greenwich Road in St Andrew where a State of Emergency was declared in 2018.
Cleaning staff sanitise the King’s House banquet hall ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for Prime Minister Andrew Holness on September 7.
Cleaning staff sanitise the King’s House banquet hall ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for Prime Minister Andrew Holness on September 7.
Rafting on the Martha Brae River.  Raft captains are among the category of workers who will benefit from the tourism pension scheme.
Rafting on the Martha Brae River. Raft captains are among the category of workers who will benefit from the tourism pension scheme.
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No need to close for deep cleaning

The Ministry of Health says that facility closure for deep cleaning is not required for management of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in buildings.

In issuing the new guidelines, the ministry said that the virus that causes COVID-19 does not live for long periods outside of the human body and is easily killed by routine cleaning and disinfection,

In issuing a new workplace protocol, the health ministry said that strict and consistent adherence to the facility routine cleaning and disinfection protocol will mitigate against the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 within the workspace.

Among other things, the ministry advises that workspaces, including surfaces, should be cleaned at least once daily. It said special attention should be given to frequently touched surfaces (for example tabletops, door handles, light switches, desks and hard back chairs and phones, toilets, sinks and taps, TV remotes, kitchen surfaces and cupboard handles).

The ministry said that more frequent cleaning is required if equipment is shared between workers and if the workplace has a high volume of workers, customers or visitors who are likely to touch surfaces.

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Tourism Workers' Pension Scheme to start next month

Beginning October 1, workers in the tourism sector will be able to register for the Tourism Workers' Pension Scheme, which was developed to create a social security network within the sector.

It is one component of a three-pronged human capital development plan for industry workers, which includes training and capacity building.

The scheme is a defined contributory plan supported by legislation and will require mandatory contributions by workers and employers.

It will cover all workers in the tourism sector aged 18 to 59, whether permanent, contractual or self-employed. These include hotel workers as well as persons employed in related industries, such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators and workers at attractions.

Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older to persons who have met the vested period of five years.

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Jamaica gets loan to fight non-communicable diseases

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of US$100 million to support the strengthening of Jamaica's health systems to better prevent and manage the care of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The main objective of this programme is to contribute to the improvement of the health of Jamaica's population by bolstering comprehensive policies for the reduction of NCDs risk factors.

Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica country representative and general manager for the Caribbean Country Group, noted that five per cent of COVID-19 patients develop severe complications, and those who have chronic conditions are at higher risk of progressing to more severe forms of the disease, require intensive care and mechanical ventilation.

"This operation is most relevant at this time as it addresses mitigation and underlying risk factors for patients with non-communicable diseases," she said.

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Opposition wants alternative to SOE

Donna Scott-Mottley, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, says it is not too late for the Government to change course in light of the judgment by the Supreme Court that the detention of persons under the State of Emergency (SOEs) is unlawful.

Scott-Mottley said the Government should acknowledge the significance of the ruling of the court on the unconstitutionality of the detention orders under the SOEs and take immediate steps to discontinue the strategy in its present application.

"While we agree that the wanton slaughter of our citizens cannot continue unabated, any action taken to stem this scourge must be done in a manner which does not abridge the rights of citizens," she stated.

"The detention of persons for extended periods without charge, some for more than a year, is unacceptable in a civilised and democratic society. We must find new ways to deal with the incidence of crime and violence across several communities," Scott-Mottley added.

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