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KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 13, 2020: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has appointed Dr. Elaine Williams as Coordinator of Pandemics at the Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCM). Dr. Williams, who is a well-known pathologist, will be working with key stakeholders in health to build clinical resilience in the industry.
Minister Bartlett made the announcement Wednesday [March 11, 2020] during a Forum on Disruptive Forces in Tourism which was put on by the Knowledge Network of the Tourism Linkages Network and the GTRCM at the Knutsford Court Hotel.
“The move comes at a period where global pandemics, such as the coronavirus, threaten the lives and livelihoods of so many and there is need to build capacity for clinical resilience to mitigate against them.
Dr. Williams will be collaborating with health authorities locally and internationally to assist in building this capacity especially as it relates to our workers,” said Minister Bartlett.
The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee recently declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.
“The need for clinical resilience is not just about this current virus but for all other epidemiological issues that will affect us all. Dr. Williams will now be connecting with WHO and other agencies but primarily with countries that are highly tourism dependent such as the Caribbean, to build new arrangements that can mitigate the impact,” added Minister Bartlett.
Dr. Williams recently retired from the UHWI and UWI where she served in the capacity of Consultant Anatomical Pathologist and Senior Lecturer for over forty years. She comes with a strong background in Viral Epidemiology, having been a Co-investigator on the Human T Cell Lymphotropic Virus 1 (HTLV-1) Research Project conducted locally in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
First announced during the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism in St. James in November 2017, the Centre, which is the first of its kind, will be tasked with creating, producing and generating toolkits, guidelines and policies to handle the recovery process following a disaster.
The centre will also assist with preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.