Jamaican authorities are investigating Dancehall colossus, Elephant Man for lying about his travel records amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The acclaimed entertainer returned from Europe Tuesday night where the outbreak has gained grounds. He, however, didn’t declare to authorities that he had visited Germany, one of the eight countries on the Jamaican government’s travel restriction list.
As of Friday, the number of cases in Germany rose by nearly 3000 to 13,957. There were also 11 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total in Germany to 31.
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Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton confirmed to THE STAR that the dancehall maestro is under investigation for his negligence saying: “I prefer not to comment at this time and allow the authorities to do their investigations.”
Tufton added: “But it’s important that all of Jamaica understands the importance and the seriousness of these new measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We can’t make exemptions as we will put our country at risk and that would be irresponsible. It has to be one law for all.”
Jamaica placed travel restrictions on persons coming from Germany, Iran, China, South Korea, Italy, Singapore, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.
Jamaicans who had traveled to any of these countries within the last 14 days will have landing privileges under the law but will be subjected to health assessments and quarantines, once they have landed, THE STAR reported.
Citing immigration officials, the outlet reported that when Elephant Man, whose given name is O’Neil Bryant, arrived at Sangster International on Tuesday night, on a flight from Brussels, Belgium, he declared on his form that he was coming from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Asked by officials whether he had visited Germany, Elephant Man said no and he’s now a potential risk to many.
After recognizing the enormity of his negligence Elephant Man apologized to the people of Jamaica for what he labeled a “misunderstanding” for not declaring that he had been into Germany, a country on the government’s travel restrictions.
“I really, really sincerely apologize to the workers at the Sangsters International airport, the Ministry of Health and the people of Jamaica. I also want to apologize for any misunderstanding in any way I incorrectly completed the form,” Elephant Man said in a video posted to his social media pages.
“After my long journey, I put the last country I arrived from as opposed to all the countries I attended in the last six weeks. Sorry for that, mi drop asleep, yu dun know. I have spoken to the authorities and I am self quarantined at home and I have not left my home since. I ask for your complete understanding…I would never intentionally put anyone’s life at risk,” he added.
Jamaica has a total of 15 coronavirus cases. Some 258 persons have come into Jamaica from a country of interest since January 31.
Over 209,000 people have now been infected by the coronavirus globally and more than 8,700 have died. According to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the US, at least 86,000 have recovered from COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus as a pandemic.
WHO’s Director-General, Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he expects the outbreak to worsen.
“We expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” he said.