Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says self-quarantine at home will become part of the new way of life as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The reality is that in the future, home quarantining will become the norm rather than the exception, and in a sense, we are gradually moving in that direction,” he said.
“We are going to have to get the society to come to terms with the need to protect themselves, their best interests, the protection of their family, friends and community and by extension, collectively, the country,” he added.
The Minister, who was addressing a virtual press briefing on Wednesday (May 20), noted that home quarantine is necessary because the health authorities cannot institutionally quarantine persons indefinitely.
Furthermore, he pointed out, the process is very costly and the State facilities are limited.
The Health Minister also provided details about the monitoring system for persons who will be required to self-quarantine.
Under this new system, persons will be tracked through their smartphones via the jamCOVID19 app. Through the app, individuals will be sent regular, random texts requesting a video call in order to identify their location, provide information on their temperature and other relevant matters.
Jamaican ship workers, who will be disembarking the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise ship now docked in Trelawny and will be sent on home quarantine, once they have tested negative for the virus, will be monitored using this new arrangement.
Tufton noted that in order for the system to work effectively individuals will have to play their part and exercise personal responsibility and discipline.