Jamaican community in China banding together

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A report from Jamaica’s Observer.

The Jamaican Association in China says there has been no reports to the association that any Jamaican in China has contracted the deadly coronavirus.

In tandem with the Jamaican embassy in China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the association said it believes it is in contact with most Jamaicans living in the greatest affected region and generally with Jamaicans residing in China.

The association added that it will continue to build contact database so that the government will be able to better understand the size of the Jamaican community in China to assist in a greater way.

“The new coronavirus has created a massive crisis for the world including the Jamaican community in China. The distance from our home country and the size of our government/country create a logistics nightmare when dealing with a fast-moving international health crisis. The strength and resilience of our community will undoubtedly be tested during periods of crisis, but we also believe that we will end up being stronger as a community,” the association said in a news release.

“Not only do we face an unknown disease, but we must also now grapple with government bureaucracy, a language barrier, and erroneous news reports from the local and international media. We are imploring Jamaicans residing in China to stay calm as much as possible in these uncertain times and to only pay attention to information from reliable and trustworthy news outlets.”

“We ask our fellow Jamaicans to be more understanding as our community feels dismayed by some of the comments on social media particularly regarding any possibility of our return to Jamaica. We trust the government will take all the necessary precautions to ensure our safe return home and what we need now is support and understanding from our fellow countrymen,” the association continued.

The association said it is prepared to work with the Jamaican embassy in China to develop a mechanism where they can ascertain the needs of the Jamaicans in the epicentre of the outbreak, which will be necessary if the situation worsens.

Jamaicans residing in the affected region who are not yet part of the association’s community, are being encouraged to make contact at the WeChat ID below to be added to the WeChat groups.

The association said it has also arranged local support hotline numbers for members in China.

Jamaicans who wish to get information about their loved ones in China can contact 876-564- 4221 or 876-472-3584.

Jamaicans in China in need of urgent attention can contact the Jamaican embassy at 86 10 6532-0670-1/6532-0668.

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