Private sector commits $150 million to COVID-19 response

As the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) increases in Jamaica, private sector organisations have committed to assisting the Government with the resources needed to effectively manage the cases.

Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) members across various industries have now joined forces and committed to contributing a total of $150 million to purchase ventilators for hospitals that have been selected by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) to handle people infected with the virus.

“The PSOJ has been actively supporting the Government of Jamaica 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 $150 million,” a news release quoted PSOJ President Keith Duncan as saying.

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 their 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 $150-million contribution were NCB Financial Group with $30 million, Sagicor Group Jamaica with $20 million, JMMB and Scotiabank Jamaica with $15 million each. Sandals Foundation and We Care Foundation together contributed $20 million.

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

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton 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,” he said. “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.”

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