During a press conference today Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton confirmed Jamaica’s first case of the Coronavirus. The patient is a Jamaican female who has been in isolation since March 9th after displaying respiratory symptoms.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jacquiline Bissasor McKenzie, stated that the patient was in stable condition. Efforts are being made to trace all the people the patient was in contact with.
The patient had traveled from the United Kingdom to Jamaica on March 4th. There are now 4 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the Caribbean: St Martin, Dominican Republic, and St Barts.
The Minister went on the say “What’s important now is for us to contain and to prevent community spread”. He appealed to the Jamaican public “to remain calm and to implement all the advisories relating to personal hygiene, social distancing, and overall infection prevention control”.
The Statement from Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton regarding the patient:
The patient is a Jamaican female who had travelled from the United Kingdom, which has cases of COVID-19. She arrived in the island on March 4, presented to the public health system on March 9, and has been in isolation since then.
Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, health professionals suspected COVID-19. A clinical sample was collected and sent to the National Influenza Centre, where laboratory tests confirmed the diagnosis today at approximately 11:00 am. The patient and family members have been informed.
The patient’s infection was travel-related. However, steps are being taken to prevent the risk of community spread.
These measures include:
– The dispatch of a health team to the home of the patient for assessment and initiation of public health measures.
– The identification and contact tracing for all possible exposed persons.
– Meeting of ministry officials with members of staff at the hospital and the necessary interventions put in place.
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