Bartlett: No noticeable impact on travel to the country, despite Coronavirus outbreak

by February 3rd, 2020

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica has not seen a noticeable impact on travel to the country, due to the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.

He notes that the Tourism Ministry globally is extremely vulnerable to shocks, and explains that millions of airline seats have been withdrawn globally.

The minister notes that the affected seats however, have largely been within the Asian continent.

Mr. Bartlett noted that while several large carriers have been affected, they are mostly domestic to Asia, such as China Eastern and China Southern.

As it relates to Jamaica, the minister said there has been very little, if any impact.

Mr. Bartlett adds that the Tourism Ministry remains vigilant, as it monitors the global threat.

He was addressing the Corona-Virus global emergency at a press conference at the Ministry this morning (February 03).

Meanwhile, China’s top leadership has admitted “shortcomings and deficiencies” in the country’s response to the deadly Coronavirus outbreak.

The Politburo Standing Committee said the National Emergency Management System had to improve.

A crackdown on wildlife markets, where the virus emerged, has been ordered.

There are more than 17 thousand confirmed cases in China, with 361 deaths, and more than 150 in other countries, with one death in the Philippines.

The number of deaths in China, excluding Hong Kong, now exceeds the 349 killed on the mainland in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (sars) outbreak of 2002-03.

The new Coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms usually start with a fever, followed by a dry cough.

The outbreak took its toll on Chinese shares when financial markets reopened on Monday following the Lunar New Year holiday.

Reports of the standing committee meeting, chaired by President Xi Jinping, were carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.

It said lessons had to be learned from what had been a “big test” of China’s governance system.

The report said in response to the shortcomings and deficiencies that were exposed responding to this epidemic, the country must improve its national emergency management system and improve its abilities in handling urgent and dangerous tasks.

One area to be tackled is the trade in illegal wildlife, which should be “resolutely banned”, while supervision of markets should be strengthened.