JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Stakeholders across government and the private sector were on Thursday (March 5) brought together for a workshop and sensitisation session on the coronavirus (COVID 19).
  • The interactive session, dubbed ‘Coronavirus: Facts Not Fear – Fighting Back’, was staged by Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.
  • It targeted personnel in health, tourism, business process outsourcing, occupational health and safety, trade and manufacturing, media, among other sectors.

Stakeholders across government and the private sector were on Thursday (March 5) brought together for a workshop and sensitisation session on the coronavirus (COVID 19).

The interactive session, dubbed ‘Coronavirus: Facts Not Fear – Fighting Back’, was staged by Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.

It targeted personnel in health, tourism, business process outsourcing, occupational health and safety, trade and manufacturing, media, among other sectors.

Discussions focused on the symptoms of the virus, transmission, prevention and treatment, minimising risk at home and in the workplace, potential economic impact, and response.

Chief Executive Officer of MMS, Audrey Hinchcliffe, said the session was designed to provide personnel with the facts about the virus, so that they can play their part in educating others in order to promote prevention and minimise risk.

She said the objective is to dispel fear and get persons to focus on preparedness and response.

“Knowledge is key. It is in this regard that MMS and its kind sponsors have brought us together. We hope that at the end of today’s deliberation, we will be more enlightened and be more prepared at all levels,” Mrs. Hinchcliffe said.

“We want you to go back and share; we want you to get it clear, so that when you are imparting what you’ve learnt from us here today, it is clear and it will help, rather than spread fear,” she added.

Executive Director, Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA), Imega Breese McNab, noted that COVID 19 has affected business around the world.

She noted that China, where the virus emerged, is the supplier of a “great number of the resources manufacturers now use”.

“We are seeing a downturn in global economic outlook as COVID-19 that started in China, which comprises 17 per cent of the global economy, becomes a moving target,” Mrs. Breeze McNab said.

“This speaks to the real problems that our manufacturers are already facing as supply chains globally are being disrupted,” she added.

Mrs. Breeze McNab noted that 6.5 per cent of Jamaica’s total imports, valued at US$397 million, are from China.

The other top-five importing countries – United States, Colombia, Trinidad, Japan, and Mexico– some of which have been affected by the virus, account for between 6.1 per cent and 23.2 per cent of imports or US$397 million to US$563 billion.

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