A wide-scale search is being carried out for about 4,500 people who arrived in Jamaica after March 18 and have not reported to the authorities who are on high alert for the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the police will be going door to door to find them and they will be placed in state quarantine and charged with a criminal offence.
Holness says persons in this group represent the greatest threat to the spread of the coronavirus.
“Last week we gave a direction to the Ministry of Health and the police force to work together with customs, to establish a list of persons who came into the island on or after the 18th of March and that is a comprehensive list. With names, passport number and address. That list is then matched against those persons who have contacted the Ministry of Health either through the telephone numbers that have been given or their email address. We are also examining the list from the various health authorities in the regions, because persons may have called into those regions as well….."
The Prime Minister also said the individuals will not be able to leave the island.
“The police along with the Ministry of Health will be going door to door to find such persons. There are those who say they can’t find me because I gave a wrong address - we may not be able to find you, but you will not be able to leave the island. We will tighten our dragnet to find you. Persons who have not reported are in violation of the order that requires them to report,” said the Prime Minister who was speaking yesterday at a media briefing.
Persons who have not reported are in violation of the Disaster Risk Management Act.
They can be fined up to J$1 million or one year imprisonment.
53 Covid-19 cases
And the number of local coronavirus cases has risen to 53 as according to Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton six more people have tested positive for covid-19.
He also said five more recovered patients have been released.
Extended port closure
The closure of Jamaica's ports to incoming passengers has been extended for a further 14 days.
According to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, a protocol for re-opening of ports will also have to be developed.
Meanwhile, - a quarantine order in Corn Piece, Clarendon, is also being extended for a further 14 days.
Several persons who have tested positive for covid-19 are from that community.
One person from the area also died as a result of the disease.