CLARENDON: Movement restricted amid coronavirus fear in Cornpiece

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced the imposition of a 14-day quarantine on a section of Cornpiece in Hayes, Clarendon, following the death of a man from the community as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The quarantine effectively restricts the movement of people, animals and vehicles within and out of Cornpiece district.

The prime minister, in parliament last evening, claimed that relatives of the 79-year-old deceased have been uncoorporative with the health team, which was dispatched to the area following the death of the man on March 18.

“The public health team is on the ground and has had difficulty with family members complying with requests to remain at home… They stated that we needed to bring documented proof of the confirmation of COVID-19 [regarding the death of their loved one]. The police were informed and dispatched to the community to allow the public health team to enforce the home quarantine order,” the prime minister explained.

He further stated that the victim, who recently returned from the United States, may have been exposed to several people in the community.

“We are unsure of the number persons in the community that have been so exposed, and require that the community and the family comply with the quarantine order to conduct the necessary contact tracing and investigations. The uncooperativeness of the family members, and reluctance to adhere to quarantine orders signal the need for escalation to enforcement of the order by security forces,” the prime minister said.

He noted that early detection of symptoms will allow for early isolation and prevention of transmission of the virus.

The prime minister said, although no one in the victim’s household has shown any COVID-19 symptom, persons exposed to the deceased have a high risk for infection.

“The persons so exposed may be incubating the virus. It is critical that they are monitored closely within the next 14 days,” he continued.

“Signs and symptoms detection log was conducted and contact elicitation was facilitated. Based on the preliminary assessment of the household contacts, there are no family members and friends who are febrile – showing the symptoms of a fever, and symptomatic of the COVID-19 virus infection.”

The prime minister, in the meantime, explained that the victim, who died on the afternoon of March 18, arrived in the island via JetBlue flight 2959 from New York about mid-night on March 12, 2020.

“He was accompanied by his wife, son and a grandson. The family members, accompanied by relatives, reportedly left the airport at 1:30AM and arrived at the home in Cornpiece, Hayes, in Clarendon at 2:30AM,” Prime Minister Holness said.

He added that the victim reportedly stayed at home from his arrival until his visit to Lionel Town Hospital on March 16 after he started experiencing shortness of breath and fever. Based on his deteriorating condition, he was transferred to Mandeville Regional Hospital for continued management where he died.

The victim was known to have diabetes and hypertension, the health authorities said.

The number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in Jamaica now stands at 16.


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