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  • Sixty-two of the country’s 68 business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities were inspected between March 14 and April 15, with a particular focus on the coronavirus (COVID-19) risk, and all but 12 passed the inspection.
  • This was noted by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during a virtual press conference on Thursday (April 16).
  • Among the new measures outlined by the Prime Minister are the closure of all BPOs in St. Catherine, by virtue of the seven-day lockdown of the parish that came into effect on April 14; the installation and maintenance of handwashing stations or other hand-sanitising equipment at the entrance of the business premises, lunch rooms and recreation areas, effective April 15 to May 14; and the provision of individual headsets for all workers effective April 21.

Sixty-two of the country’s 68 business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities were inspected between March 14 and April 15, with a particular focus on the coronavirus (COVID-19) risk, and all but 12 passed the inspection.

These have since been provided with a work plan to address their issues.

This was noted by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during a virtual press conference on Thursday (April 16).

“The Ministry of Health continues to monitor and to enhance the guidelines announced in the Parliament by the Prime Minister. We are also working with their Association. To the extent that they have their members, they are also working with their members, and to the extent that other operators are not members of the Association, we are also contacting and working with them in order for them to enhance the standards that are required,” he said.

“And, to the extent that those requirements are not met, then the Government will take whatever action is necessary in the public interest of the workers, but also more generally of the community and the country,” Dr. Tufton added.

In the meantime, the Minister said it is important that the protocol be followed, and that the Government is doing what is necessary to ensure that is the case.

Among the new measures outlined by the Prime Minister are the closure of all BPOs in St. Catherine, by virtue of the seven-day lockdown of the parish that came into effect on April 14; the installation and maintenance of handwashing stations or other hand-sanitising equipment at the entrance of the business premises, lunch rooms and recreation areas, effective April 15 to May 14; and the provision of individual headsets for all workers effective April 21.

All employee workstations and equipment must be sanitised before each work shift and headsets and temperature checks must be conducted on each employee, upon their arrival for work for his/her shift.

Also, physical distance markers must be in place so as to manage the distancing of persons at entry points to the business premises and in all recreational spaces, and an isolation area must be established for the temporary holding of a person who becomes symptomatic while on the business premises.

The new stringent measures come in the wake of the positive confirmation of 52 of Jamaica’s 143 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which have been linked to the Alorica BPO operation in Portmore, St. Catherine.

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