To date, more than 1,200 care packages have been distributed to families in the quarantined communities of Sandy Bay, in Clarendon, and Lower Summit, Church Corner and Bamboo River in St. Thomas.
The 14-day quarantine became effective on August 6, and is to end on August 20, at 6:00 a.m.
However, this is contingent on whether additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are identified and if there are more outbreaks in the areas.
Manager of Disaster, Rehabilitation and Welfare Management, in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Jacqueline Shepherd, told JIS News that lessons learned from prior experiences with other quarantined areas have enabled the Ministry to better streamline its operations to respond quickly and provide care packages to residents in quarantined communities.
“Based on our experiences at Seven and Eight Miles; Cornpiece (Clarendon) and a few communities in St. Mary, a lot of our parish offices have limited storage capacity. As part of our escalated action plan and operations, we identified areas we could use as distribution points to pre-position food before a disaster happens. These areas allow us to package food on site and distribute it from the site,” she explained.
“We distribute food every six days. We have served over 1,200 families and there may be additional persons coming on, so we could estimate 1,500 families will be served in the second round of distributions,” Ms. Shepherd added.
The communities in Clarendon and St. Thomas have been placed under quarantine in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19.
The decision to quarantine the areas was informed by the number of COVID-19 positive cases and the number of persons presenting with symptoms.
The basic standard care package is comprised of rice, flour, cornmeal, sugar, milk powder (plain and flavoured), cooking oil as well as tinned food (corned beef, sausage, sardine, mackerel and vegetable). Water, assorted juices and snacks for children are also included.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues community surveillance activities in the quarantined communities.