Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton said an additional six cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Jamaica, adding that a third person has died of the disease locally.
The total number of confirmed cases on the island now stands at 44.
Dr. Tufton said the six new cases are from Cornpiece district in Clarendon.
In elaborating on those new cases, the minister said: “We did 53 tests and, of the 53, six are positive. All of the six are linked to the quarantined community of Cornpiece in South-East Clarendon. One of the six [who is] a 53-year-old male had travelled with the index case from New York. That index case [is] a 79-year-old male who was the first to have passed.”
The community of Cornpiece has been under quarantine since the death last month of the 79-year-old man mentioned above. He was known to have diabetes and hypertension. Days after his death, his son-in-law also tested positive for the highly contagious disease.
The number of COVID-19 cases now linked to the Cornpiece area stands at eight.
The parish of Clarendon now has the second highest number of confirmed cases (10), beaten only by Kingston and St. Andrew (12).
Dr. Tufton also disclosed that health authorities are keeping a close watch on 50 householders in Portland Cottage – a community also located in Clarendon.
“There is a little concern related to that [Portland Cottage] area. We may have to take some decisions as it relates to that area, but not right now. A team is assessing that. Two hundred and seventy-nine persons have been interviewed and an additional seven persons have been placed into isolation,” Dr Tufton explained.
Jamaica, in the meantime, has recorded two full recoveries from COVID-19; it also recorded a third death.
The third deceased, who was announced yesterday, is a 41-year-old man with United Kingdom travel history. He suffered from some underlying conditions and developed renal failure.
Dr. Tufton yesterday urged Jamaicans to continue to limit people-to-people contact. “I think the Cornpiece experience is an indication, again, of why it is that we have to insist on compliance,” he added.
The minister further lamented that a number of people are not complying with the social distancing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. The government has stipulated that persons stay at least one metre (three feet) away from each other, especially when out in public.
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