Here’s an update from the Ministry of Health and Wellness on the current situation regarding COVID-19 in Jamaica. Note the information on the cases under investigation. Are these early signs of “community spread”?
Jamaica now has sixty-nine (69) confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The four (4) new cases are:
- A 52-year-old male from Manchester, who is a contact of a confirmed case;
- A 73-year-old male, also from Manchester, who is a contact of a confirmed case;
- A 43-year-old female from Manchester, who is a contact of a confirmed case; and
- A 19-year-old male from Clarendon, who is under investigation.
They bring to thirty-one (31) the number of imported cases, twenty-five (25) the number of import-related cases and thirteen (13) the number of cases under investigation.
The thirteen (13) cases under investigation have been traced to six (6) individuals who have given no history of travel or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 prior to testing positive:
- One individual from Portland, two of whose contacts have tested positive;
- One from Kingston and St. Andrew with five contacts who have tested positive; and
- Four other individuals – one from St. Mary, one from Clarendon and two from St. Catherine.
All of these individuals are in isolation, while the Ministry continues its active investigation of all the contacts of these cases.
So far, 37 (or 54 per cent) of the confirmed cases are males and 32 (or 46 per cent) are females. The cases range in age from twelve (12) to eighty-seven (87) years. Thirteen (13) patients have fully recovered, while four have died.
There are currently twenty-two (22) persons in quarantine in a Government facility. Sixty-nine persons are in isolation.
One person in isolation is critically ill while another is moderately ill. A common feature among the persons in Jamaica who have had severe illness has been the presence of co-morbid illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Jamaicans with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, are advised to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19 by:
- staying at home if they are sick with fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough or cold symptoms;
- frequently washing and sanitizing hands; and
- covering their mouths and noses if sick or in crowded situations.
The elderly are among the group of persons at highest risk of contracting COVID-19, in addition to persons with chronic illnesses that include sickle cell disease, cardiovascular and kidney disease.
Note: The Jamaica Mental Health Advocacy Network is also offering counseling during this period. Contact Jhanille Brooks 876-569-4192 email firstname.lastname@example.org