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  • The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is encouraging members of the business community and other stakeholders to work closely with health officials to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • President, Janet Silvera, told JIS News that members of her organisation have been advised to continue to follow best practices while taking into the account the welfare of their employees and the communities in which they operate.
  • “Even before there was a single recorded case of COVID-19 on the island, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry was having regular meetings in anticipation of this moment,” she noted.

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is encouraging members of the business community and other stakeholders to work closely with health officials to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

President, Janet Silvera, told JIS News that members of her organisation have been advised to continue to follow best practices while taking into the account the welfare of their employees and the communities in which they operate.

“Even before there was a single recorded case of COVID-19 on the island, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry was having regular meetings in anticipation of this moment,” she noted.

“We have been having dialogue with local health officials, so as to arm ourselves with adequate information on what to do in the event it should reach our shores. Now we are at that moment, and this is where public education becomes critical,” she added.

Ms. Silvera said that business operators have been told to make sanitisers, hand towels and other items readily available for use by employees and to ensure that there is thorough cleaning of the work environment.

She added that the best way to confront the challenge ahead is not by “panic, hysteria, misinformation or fear-mongering” but by engaging in preventative measures and to keep abreast of official bulletins and guidelines.

The Chamber President said the Government must be commended for being upfront and transparent with the citizenry, citing the press conferences being held to keep the public alert and up to date.

“There is no bigger fear than the fear of the unknown. What is required in the face of what the World Health Organization (WHO) has now deemed a pandemic is accurate and honest information, so that the public can be adequately informed,” Ms. Silvera said.

“As a body, the Chamber feels that the Government, particularly the Ministry of Health and Wellness, has been handling the situation quite admirably. We will continue to work closely with them in doing our part in fighting the spread of COVID-19,” she added.

For his part, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, said the St. James Municipal Cooperation is closely monitoring the situation, adding that “we are working closely with all our partners, including the Ministry of Health and Wellness in an all-hands-on-deck approach”.

“We have been in disaster preparedness mode for quite some time, and we will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness in dealing with this pandemic, which has been affecting countries worldwide,” he added.

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