COVID-19

On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As of 4 March 2020, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 120 countries, including Jamaica.

BCIC considers the health and wellbeing of our customers and team members our highest priority. We have gathered resources and additional information to answer your questions about COVID-19 and the measures we have in place.  This data has been sourced from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and leading experts in epidemiology and public health such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC)

 

Doing business with BCIC

The best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to limit the possibility of infection through close contact with others.  We strongly encourage our customers to make use of our online services.

 

You may:

  • Get a quote and buy online here
    • It’s easy to get a quote for your private car insurance.  Choose from our comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party policies.  You may even arrange for financing options with EasyPay with between 4 or 9 monthly instalments to pay. Buy using your Visa or Mastercard credit card or Mastercard debit card.  It’s an easy and secure way to buy your insurance online!
  • Pay your premium here. Click here for video tutorials on how to pay online.
    • Use our quick pay feature to pay your premium online using your Visa or Mastercard credit card or Mastercard debit card.  All you need is your policy number to get started.
  • Report a Claim here
    • Simply have the following details:
      • Policy information
      • Date of incident
      • Location of incident

And you’re all set!

 

To renew your insurance, simply call or WhatsApp:

  • (876) 440-7602
  • (876) 578-1267
  • (876) 578-1266
  • (876) 578-1264

or email us at customersolutions@bcicjamaica.com. We have also placed a drop box in all our branches where you may leave cheques along with your renewal notice. We will renew your policy and email or mail the document and the receipt.

We will provide all your required documents such as insurance certificates etc. via email and accept any documents you may need to send to us via email or WhatsApp.  We also have online chat enabled should you need to chat to a BCIC representative.

For those customers who pay by cash, you also have the option of paying your BCIC premium through the major online banking platforms or by visiting any Paymaster location islandwide. 

If you are unable to access the virtual methods of doing business with us we must insist that at-risk members of the community, those individuals who have travelled to any of the countries on the restricted list within the last two weeks, and any individual who is currently showing symptoms refrain from visiting BCIC’s branches or offices. Check out the FAQs below on what symptoms to look out for.

FAQs

WHAT ARE THE MEASURES THE GOVERNMENT PUT IN PLACE ON MARCH 18?

Summary of Measures with effect Wednesday, March 18.  The government has committed to reviewing these measures after 5 days.

 

  • As of the 18th of March, all non-essential work should be done from home. This applies to the Public and Private Sector.
  • No gatherings of over 20 persons in any public space.
    • The recommendation is no gatherings at all, but if you do gather you MUST maintain the required 3-4 feet apart.
    • Limit funerals, weddings and church services
  • Self-quarantine of persons travelling into Jamaica from countries with local transmission for 14 days
  • Hospital visits are reduced to one visitor once per day
  • Outpatient clinics in hospitals will be scaled down
  • Markets, supermarkets, corner shops, gas stations and pharmacies remain open because of their importance in daily life.
    • Markets will be open from 6:00AM- 2:00PM. 
  • The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the Montego Bay Metro will only transport passengers seated. 
  • Taxi operators are required to transport one less passenger than they are licensed to carry.
  • Restrictions placed on the opening of bars, nightclubs and other entertainment establishments.



Failure to comply with the orders as outlined makes a person liable to a fine not exceeding JMD 1 million and imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.  

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases. It is spread from person to person mainly through the droplets produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes - just like the common cold and flu.

Source: Ministry of Health

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Source: World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health

HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Source: World Health Organisation

WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF AND PREVENT THE SPREAD OF DISEASE?

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
    Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
    Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, Call 888 ONE LOVE (663-5683) immediately!
    Why? Calling the Ministry of Health’s hotline will give you updated information about the right health facility to go to should you need to. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.

Source: World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health

HOW TO WASH HANDS?

HOW TO HANDRUB?
  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

Source: Centres for Disease Control

WHEN TO WASH HANDS?
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Source: Centres for Disease Control

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED & WHAT THIS MEANS?
  •  China
  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Iran
  • Spain
  • France
  • Germany

 

The Ministry of Health and Wellness does not recommend non-essential travel at this time. If you do travel to any of the countries on the restriction list within 14 days of entering Jamaica you will be quarantined at either a government facility or in-home depending on your risk assessment

 

Source: Ministry of Health

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR ARE EXPERIENCING SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?

Call 888 ONE LOVE (663-5683) immediately!

  • Stay at home
  • Do not go to work, school or any public place
  • Do not use public transport
  • Avoid visitors to your home

You may need to do this for up to 14 days to reduce the spread of the infection.

SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT COVID-19?

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the Ministry of Health and Wellness

Source: World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health

SHOULD I WEAR A MASK TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM COVID-19?

Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. A disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.

HOW TO PUT ON, USE, TAKE OFF AND DISPOSE OF A MASK?
  • Before putting on a mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based rub
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks

Source: World Health Organisation

HOW LONG IS THE INCUBATION PERIOD FOR COVID-19?

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.

 

Source: World Health Organisation

HOW LONG DOES THE VIRUS SURVIVE ON SURFACES?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Source: World Health Organisation



WILL WEARING GLOVES PROTECT ME FROM CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has made no recommendation that the general public should wear disposable gloves to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC does recommend that people wear disposable gloves:

  • when caring for someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, particularly when handling their laundry and when coming into contact with bodily fluids
  • when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces  

Gloves should be discarded after each use and hands should be washed immediately after gloves are removed.

Source: Centres for Disease Control

CAN SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN QUARANTINED FOR COVID-19 SPREAD THE ILLNESS TO OTHERS?

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease, but have not developed illness (symptoms), from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

Source: Centres for Disease Control 
 
WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK?
Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. High-risk individuals are:
  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
Source: Centres for Disease Control