Food Hygiene Bureau

Public Health


COVID-19 is a Pandemic; of viral origin which began in late 2019 in Wuhun China, and had quickly spread to every country in the hemisphere, with severe impact on public health, affecting over 13.5m people and over 600,000 deaths.  This disease has affected all age group, and with a prevalence amongst the vulnerable groups.  WHO defines a pandemic as global spread of a new disease. The term is most often applied to new influenza strains, and the CDC says it’s used when viruses “are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way” in multiple regions.


The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pointing to the over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries and territories around the world and the sustained risk of further global spread. To date Jamaica has over 700 cases confirmed with 10 deaths.  236 cases are related to a workplace and majority cases are imported.


Indeed Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general of the World Health organisation confirm at a recent media briefing that; “This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector,” said, at a media briefing. “So every sector and every individual must be involved in the fights.”


In the Caribbean the entire region is impacted plunging businesses, closure of schools and educational institutions, and government sectors, community in despair.  Sanitation, hygiene, and social distancing is the new norm for control of this pandemic and there is need for regional knowledge base.  COVID-19 Pandemic also impact on the region Food Security sustainability  program which was already challenged through climate change, food scarcity and new technology.  This pandemic and measures installed will trigger great uncertainty for our region. 

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