28 BPOs pass Ministry of Health Inspection
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says that 28 of the 96 business process outsourcing (BPO) entities operating on the island have passed inspection.
“The remaining institutions have been provided with work plans to improve their infection prevention and control measures,” Dr. Tufton said at a virtual press conference at the Ministry’s office in Kingston on Wednesday.
Additionally, he said four of the BPOs have been ordered closed by the Ministry and reopening dates have been set based on the remedial actions that are to be taken.
“We have seen also, in recent times, improved compliance and reopening given to two additional others,” he noted.
The Minister further explained that of the 96 BPOs in the country, all but one have been inspected, of which 59 were exempted.
The islandwide inspection of BPO entities is among several measures being undertaken by the Government to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) following last month’s outbreak at the Alorica call centre in Portmore, St. Catherine, which has caused the number of cases in the island to jump to 478.
So far, 221 of the company’s 787 workers have tested positive along with 36 of their contacts.
The islandwide inspection is being spearheaded by the newly established BPO task force, which has also implemented measures including new inspection and audit protocols; a self-inspection checklist that has been signed off by all agencies and departments; the submission of daily reports by all BPO operators to the Ministry of Health & Wellness; and the installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) at all BPO facilities.
These are in addition to measures previously put in place by the Government such as a 14-day closure of all BPO facilities, barring those that were given exemptions; installation and maintenance of handwashing stations or other hand-sanitising equipment at the entrance of the business premises, lunch rooms and recreation areas; and the provision of individual headsets for all workers.
Sanitisation of all workstations and equipment before each work shift, temperature checks, physical distance markers in the offices and all recreational spaces, as well as an isolation area for the temporary holding of a person, who becomes symptomatic while on the business premises, were also among the new measures.
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