Private Sector commits $150 Million to help in response to COVID-19

As the number of confirmed cases of the corona virus (COVID-19) increases in Jamaica; private sector organizations are giving their commitment to assist the Government of Jamaica with the relevant resources needed to effectively manage the cases.

Member companies of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, PSOJ, across various industries have now joined forces and have committed to contributing a total of one hundred and fifty million dollars to purchase ventilators to outfit the hospitals that have been designated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) to handle the persons infected with the virus.

President of the PSOJ, Keith Duncan said “The PSOJ has been actively supporting the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for ventilators was identified as a critical area of the public health response. We saw this as a very important initiative around which to rally the private sector to save as many Jamaican lives as possible. We’re happy that our stakeholders have come on board and have so far pledged J$150Million.”

Christopher Zacca, President and CEO of Sagicor Group Jamaica and a member of the MOHW COVID-19 Response Advisory team noted that it is the collective responsibility of all citizens to play our part in helping to control and mitigate against the spread of the virus. “Public-private partnership is especially important during times like this, as we have to tackle this virus as one united country; doing all we can to lessen the impact on the lives of all citizens”, Zacca said.

Leading the charge in the $150Million contribution were NCB Financial Group who have contributed thirty million dollars, Sagicor Group Jamaica with twenty million, JMMB and Scotiabank Jamaica with fifteen million each. The Sandals Foundation and the We Care Foundation together contributed twenty million.

Other donors included ICD Group, Ja. Broilers, Restaurants of Jamaica, JP Group, Richard and Diana Stewart Foundation, GK Group and Musson.

Dr. the Hon. Chris Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness expressed gratitude for the donation. “As the Government works tirelessly to combat the threat of the coronavirus, we continue to emphasise and embrace the strength of community. The Ministry extends heartfelt gratitude to the PSOJ and its members for their contribution to our efforts in protecting the lives and interest of every Jamaican citizen”

The heads of the contributing institutions are appealing to other corporate entities to help however they can, noting that the more support and resources we have; the better able we are as a country to successfully respond to, manage and control the spread of the virus.

The public is being urged to adhere to infection prevention and control measures, notably to:

· Maintain a social distance of 3 feet from persons whenever you are out in public.

· Frequently perform hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer if hands are not visibly soiled.

· Cover our mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then discarding it.

· And resist the habit to touch our faces.

In the event of an emergency related to COVID-19, the public is encouraged to contact 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683).