India, Jamaica discuss united response to COVID-19 crisis

Jamaica stands to benefit immensely from India’s generosity, following a recent conversation between foreign ministers of both countries.

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith held a 30-minute discussion last week, centred on the COVID-19 pandemic in their respective countries and measures to cooperate for a united response to the crisis.

India has decided to provide Jamaica with a number of essential and immunity- boosting medicines along with medical equipment containing surgical masks, gowns, surgical gloves, thermometers, swabs, among other things.

The medicines and medical equipment are expected to be delivered to Jamaica soon, according to a statement issued by the Indian High Commission in Jamaica.

India had earlier approved the donation of 4,000 Hydroxychloroquine tablets to Jamaica, apart from the supply of 19,200 tablets on a commercial basis.

The Asian country had already committed US$1- million grant funding for community development projects in Jamaica during the Caricom-India Summit held in September 2019. Dr Jaishankar reiterated India’s support for the economic development of the parish of St Catherine, through community development projects.

India is also sharing its expertise in the medical domain through online webinars for medical staff of Caribbean and Latin American countries. The next such webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, and is open to healthcare workers of Jamaica. The High Commission is also conducting free online yoga classes for the benefit and well-being of the Jamaican people.

The two leaders also discussed enhanced economic and medical cooperation between both countries, in a post-COVID-19 world, in order to revitalise their economies and be better prepared for such scenarios in future.

India has been reaching out to Caribbean countries and others in Latin America as part of its global efforts in containing COVID-19.

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