(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Exactly one year to the day when the very first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Jamaica, Sandals Resorts International has announced its intention to gift 300 health-care workers across the region with complimentary two-night stays at its award-winning, all-inclusive resorts.
The gesture, according to the company’s Executive Chairman Adam Stewart, is in recognition of the selfless efforts of health-care workers who continue to exhibit admirable bravery and make tremendous sacrifices in the face of what is already a year-long fight.
“Our health-care workers have been our heroes throughout this pandemic. This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone, but our heroes on the front lines and our health-care workers in particular have demonstrated a level of perseverance and commitment that is awe-inspiring,” a company release quotes Stewart, who is also executive chairman of the Jamaica Observer.
“This is our way of saying thank you and showing our appreciation for what we know has been a very difficult time. These vacations are well-deserved and we can’t wait to roll out the red carpet and pamper our heroes at our luxury-included resorts,” added Stewart.
The resort company said it will work closely with the ministries of health in the seven islands where it operates to identify the beneficiaries of its latest act of generosity, starting in Jamaica where the company is working with the Ministry of Health and Wellness’s Staff Welfare Programmes Department to award the vacation packages.
Health-care workers in Antigua, Barbados, The Bahamas, Grenada, Saint Lucia and The Turks and Caicos Islands are also set to receive complimentary vacations.
Yesterday, Jamaica’s Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, as well as Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) President Dr Andrew Manning, welcomed the gesture.
“It’s good to see all hands on deck in the COVID response. Sandals continues to be a good corporate citizen. I salute them for their efforts and hope others will follow,” Dr Tufton said.
Dr Manning, in his response, extended thanks to the Sandals Group for the gesture.
“Certainly, the health-care workers in Jamaica, and I can speak on behalf of MAJ members, both within the public and private sectors, would want to say thanks because the health-care workers are under stress. It has been a challenging year and it’s going to be challenging for at least a few more months, and we appreciate this gesture,” Dr Manning said.
“I’m sure the health-care workers in Jamaica, the lucky ones who are selected, will utilise this gift for some much-needed rest and relaxation.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis the Sandals Group has consistently lent its support to the fight, from offering Sandals Carlyle to the Jamaican Government for use as a quarantine/isolation centre, to donating digital hand-held thermal scanners to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and offsetting transportation needs for health-care workers in western Jamaica.
“This fight is not just for the Government. This is everyone’s fight,” Stewart said. “The private sector must join hands with the public sector so we can fight this pandemic together. We have all been affected by this pandemic and we continue to be affected one year later. This is everyone’s challenge, and finding solutions should be everyone’s business. Sandals Resorts International remains committed to playing our part, and we are thrilled to be able to extend this latest offer to our very deserving health-care workers.”