JIS News

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  • The Government has allocated $7 billion in contingency funding towards tackling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, made the announcement as he opened the 2020/21 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 11.
  • Jamaica recorded its first imported case of COVID-19 on March 10.

The Government has allocated $7 billion in contingency funding towards tackling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, made the announcement as he opened the 2020/21 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 11.

Jamaica recorded its first imported case of COVID-19 on March 10.

Dr. Clarke said the funds will provide for any contingency “as necessary, to protect the Jamaican people from the health and economic impact. This is a contingency; it is preparation”.

He noted that within the contingency funding, the Government is prepared to consider other health, social protection, security, economic or other temporary cash flow relief expenditure should conditions deteriorate.

“The Government is prepared should the need arise… and effecting the use of this contingency will require a supplementary budget to be submitted and passed by Parliament,” Dr. Clarke said.

“We hope the situation does not deteriorate to the extent that the contingency will be required, but if it does, we are prepared. We are in a much stronger position today to withstand global shocks than we have ever been before,” he added.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses known to cause respiratory illnesses ranging in severity from the common cold to Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

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