Sat | Jan 23, 2021

MoBay’s call centre reopens but with strict conditions

Published:Saturday | October 10, 2020 | 12:13 AMAdrian Frater and Mark Titus/Gleaner Writers

Western Bureau:

The Teleperformance Jamaica, the Montego Bay-based call centre, which was ordered closed by the St James health authorities on Wednesday, rolled back into operation yesterday after being given conditional clearance, which came less than 24 hours after Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton visited the location.

“They were given the clearance to resume operations today (Friday),” said Lennox Wallace, who heads the St James Health Department. “The reopening is conditional as they have been mandated to address some breaches we had observed. We hope that will be done as we will not hesitate to act if we see a situation emerging that could affect public safety.”

When Tufton visited on Thursday, he said the COVID-19 is now in the community transmission phase and as a consequence, the nation will continue to see a number of positive cases within workplaces. He also expressed satisfaction at the efforts of some business operators to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“When you have community transmission, the COVD-19 virus is going to be more prevalent as it is now and therefore we do expect that we will have positive cases turning up at the workplace … whether it is BPO, supermarket or manufacturing … anywhere,” said Tufton. “As minister, I am not disturbed or even overly concerned when a positive case turns up at a workplace setting, because frankly speaking, in community transmission, you expect these cases from time to time.”

According to the health authority, the shutdown was necessary to identify individuals they needed for contact tracing and to address breaches that were observed.

“We can confirm that there have been some 18 cases of COVID-19 that we have linked to this call centre. So it was out of an abundance of caution. We were forced to act, and we did,” Wallace said after the facility was ordered closed by Parish Manager of the St James Health Authority.

Gloria Henry, president of Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ), said her organisation was not happy with the decision by the health authority because zoning was done since March to avoid the entire shutdown of businesses to deal with isolated cases.

“If you have to shut down a zone for contact tracing we can understand that, but not the entire company with four or five different zones in two or three different buildings,” Henry said.