Jamaica's leader plans to fast-track the implementation of the national identification system (NIDS) under ts response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports local media.Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the country was behind in development of a national system of identification prior, and that it could have proved crucial at this time, reported the Jamaica Observer."The truth is, we now don't have that system; we are behind in our implementation; we still have new legislation to bring to the Cabinet and to the Parliament but we cannot waste a crisis," the prime minister said."Now is the time when we really need to have the system and we are going to move as quickly as possible within the boundaries of the law and the constitution to ensure that every citizen of Jamaica has a unique identifier that will be able to ensure that whatever benefit comes from the Government will go directly to them," he said, reported the newspaper.The new system aims to provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of personal identity information for citizens and persons residing in Jamaica.NIDS will become the primary source for identity assurance and verification, according to officials.It is envisioned that a reliable database of all Jamaican citizens will be established and that each citizen will be issued a unique lifelong national identification number (NIN). In the long term, the NIN may be used alongside a multi-purpose card, or be uploaded onto smartphones. The use of biometric (fingerprint or retina) scans is also being explored.In a press conference earlier this week, Holness called on businesses operating on the margins of the formal economy to register, in order to be able to access assistance from the Government when there are economic challenges."In between the aspirations and what we can actually deliver, there is a gap. There is a gap of implementation and there is a gap of systems. We presently cannot identify every single Jamaican, so beneficiary identification systems are not as strong as they should be. What we are learning in crisis is that we need to be able to identify all Jamaicans," he said."This is the real test of the society now. Are we, in a time of crisis, able to identify everyone? And the answer is no," he remarked.