Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton said Jamaica has achieved its first full recovery from the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), adding that the recovered patient from St. Ann was released on Sunday night, March 29.
He, during a press conference yesterday, said: “The ministry is pleased to advise that one of the patients – Patient Five from St. Ann who tested positive for COVID-19 has now recovered and has been released from hospital. So, I think we can celebrate our first fully recovered COVID-19 case.”
Dr. Tufton explained that there is a protocol to determining when one is fully recovered and can be released.
“That individual, having been treated and become asymptomatic – meaning not displaying any other symptom, would be tested twice within a 48-hour period, and if the tests return negative then the conclusion is that the person is fit and ready to be released – and this has been the case with this individual [who was released],” the health minister said.
He urged Jamaicans to not discriminate against anyone affected by COVID-19, including the person who has recovered.
“It is very important that the population accepts that COVID-19 is a risk – is a disease, but a disease that can be treated, and those persons who are unfortunate enough to be infected – once they return to their community with the certification by the medical team that they are now well should be incorporated, reintegrated and not treated in any way, shape or form in a discriminatory manner. I think that’s very very important,” the health minister said emphatically.
Jamaica so far recorded 36 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including one death.
There are now 23 imported cases and 11 import-related. Two cases are still under investigation.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in the meantime, cautioned that a ‘significant rise’ is expected in the number of confirmed cases.
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