Mon | Mar 30, 2020

Jakes steps up to plate as hotels mull quarantine plea

Published:Wednesday | March 25, 2020 | 12:25 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Jakes Treasure Beach is the first local hotel to offer its 65 rooms for quarantine or isolation purposes for COVID-19 patients, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has said.

The resort, located in St Elizabeth, will allow the Ministry of Health & Wellness access to its entire property, which includes hotel rooms and villa accommodation, a gesture owner Jason Henzell said was the “right thing to do. We must be our brother’s keeper right now”.

The ministry needs some 600 rooms to fight the virus, which has infected some 21 Jamaicans, killing one person in the last two weeks.

Henzell, a member of the JHTA, said that he made the offer Monday night to Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton shortly after he made the appeal to the nation.

LEND SUPPORT

On Tuesday, JHTA President Omar Robinson bolstered the plea in a letter to his members asking them to lend their support to boost the Government’s efforts to contain and eliminate the spread of the virus.

“With this national crisis and with properties closed, we are encouraging our members to help the nation,” he told The Gleaner, adding that it was important that each room has its own bathroom facility to restrict movement.

Robinson explained that it was a partnership arrangement with concessionary and below-normal market rates being offered.

Sounding optimistic that the tourism sector would supply the 600 rooms needed, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, in a press release yesterday, said that all hands were on deck and that hospitality stakeholders stood ready to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

“Partnerships at the local, regional and global levels are critical at this stage to help manage this disease, and this is just one such example,” added Bartlett.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on several countries globally. To date, there have been more than 400,000 cases and approximately 18,000 deaths.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com