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  • National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says the country’s maritime surveillance capacity will have to be ramped up, as part of the Government’s Ebola preparedness and response mechanism.
  • This will entail boosting the capabilities of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Marine Police Division, he noted.
  • The Minister was speaking at Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited’s presentation of a $4.3 million cheque for the acquisition of a thermal temperature scanner.

National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says the country’s maritime surveillance capacity, encompassing monitoring of the country’s territorial waters, will have to be ramped up, as part of the Government’s Ebola preparedness and response mechanism.

This will entail boosting the capabilities of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Marine Police Division, he noted.

The Minister was speaking at Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited’s presentation of a $4.3 million cheque for the acquisition of a thermal temperature scanner, at the entity’s New Kingston head office, on October 21.

Noting that approximately 99 per cent of persons entering Jamaica do so through the formal ports of entry, Mr. Bunting said “most of the angles,” in terms of Ebola surveillance and that of other activities, are covered by the state agencies responsible for border control.

However,  he said that with the prevalence of illicit activities, such as smuggling, where “we have had a fairly active guns-for-drugs trade,” involving a number of Caribbean islands, particularly those in close proximity to Jamaica, “that is also an area that we could be exposed to Ebola.”

“So, while one primary area of (our Ebola surveillance) focus will be our formal sea and airports, another another potential area that we are focusing on is ramping up the maritime surveillance capabilities,” Mr. Bunting assured.

The thermal temperature scanner, which is being acquired from Canada, will be installed at Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport.

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