What I Learnt This Week During the COVID-19 Pandemic: week ending 3/4/20

From Jamaica I learnt

  1. Approximately 4500 incoming passengers who flew into Jamaica during mid March have still to report to the authorities. Concerns that some may have imported cases of COVID-19. Some incomers supplied incorrect contact details on their immigration form. Unforgivable. But given COVID-19 was circling Jamaica by mid March the 2 airports should have been stacked with extra immigration/customs officials to cross-check forms comprehensively. As we all know many incomers to Jamaica never take their entry forms seriously or even know how to fill them out correctly.
  2. Many pensioners did not receive their payments as promised by the authorities.
  3. Government revealed that there are just 35 (or is it 26?) working ventilators across the 25 public health hospitals. I have heard 3 different ventilator numbers in the past 8 days. Very confusing. [The average cost of a ventilator is roughly $US30k.]
  4. Jamaica Public Service is continuing to disconnect consumers’ electricity for non-payments. Mobile telecom companies still wiping-off customers’ existing phone credits for not topping-up in the previous 21 days. No class given pensioners have been told to stay home.
  5. Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) leader, Dr Peter Phillips is away from frontline politics due to illness. Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis who is the acting PNP leader in his absence?
  6. Some parents are realising how challenging it is to keep their children in check throughout the day. Shout-out to all the educators and the authorities for coming up with ideas to keep the kids learning away from the classroom.
  7. According to the government’s latest projections there are expecting up to 1.7 million COVID-19 related infections of varying levels. Let’s hope such scary projections are way off.
  8. Too much of the local media is drooling over the government’s PR machine rather than challenging/fact-checking the pledges and statements being made. Did any of the media report the concerns raised by the PNP’s Dr Wykeham McNeil in January about the island’s lack of preparedness? (See from 1:13:30 into the clip below if the link does not take you directly there.)



Globally I learnt

  1. Even some local conservative journalists are not impressed with the UK government’s handling of the pandemic – “Prime Minister (Boris Johnson), clearly it’s gone wrong.  But continually telling us ‘We’re working hard, this is our number one priority, we’re ramping up’, it’s not good enough.”  – LBC’s Nick Ferrari
  2. In the UK there has been over 4300 COVID-19 related deaths in 31 days.
  3. 10 million Americans are unemployed.
  4. Philadelphia does not have a single public hospital.
  5. In Singapore, employers will be jailed or fined if they don’t allow staff to work from home where possible.
  6. EU President Ursula von der Leyen condemned some EU leaders for being insular and thinking about their own countries rather having a joint EU effort to combat COVID-19.
  7. The UK transformed London’s Excel Centre into a massive temporary state-of-the -art hospital in 9 days.
  8. In Latin America and the Caribbean the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has appealed for $US95 million to help the region fight COVID-19.
  9. Despite the average cost of a ventilator being roughly $US30k India is developing much cheaper versions for well under $US2k.
  10. US government blocked the shipment sent by the Chinese electronic giant Alibaba to Cuba filled with masks, ventilators and tests kits to detect the coronavirus.
  11. There was a time many people thought Richard Branson could walk on water. Then the British public started to look beyond that tax-exile smile and have pushed back against his demand for a UK govt bailout for his airline.
  12. It will be hard for most of heads of government and media houses to continue ignoring Taiwan’s right to exist, independent of China. Given how the Taiwanese has successfully led the fight against COVID-19 and thus embarrassed her northern neighbour.


About africanherbsman1967

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