COVID-19 test results for 5 in isolation expected today

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COVID-19 test results for 5 in isolation expected today

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The results of tests for five people in isolation over COVID-19 concerns should be available today.

Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie said yesterday that there are currently seven people in isolation, including the two who have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr Bisasor-McKenzie said that since January 23, 260 people have been designated persons of interest, having arrived from countries that the ministry has concerns about.

She said 65 of those people were not landed, while 130 were sent home to be monitored. Only eight of those people remain in home quarantine, while of those in quarantine in medical facilities, 38 remain in admission, two are being monitored in hotels, and 18 have been sent home.

Meanwhile, the Government says its decision to restrict travel to more countries in response to the spread of the COVID-19 is based on a number of factors, not just whether a country has confirmed cases.

Responding to questions about whether the Government was hesitating on issuing restrictions for the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) at yesterday's emergency press conference at Jamaica House, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said factors include the extent to which the virus is present in a jurisdiction in relation to its size, and the rate of spread, as this is an indicator of monitoring and containment levels in those countries.

He said that with Jamaican dependent on different types of relations with these jurisdictions, this has to be considered when the Government is assessing the risk.

"In the case of the US, there are some areas that are far more challenging than others. We have examined to what extent we can offer advisories not just about a country, but areas within a country. The UK is very worrying; we are concerned about the rate of spread and there will have to be some decisions," he stated

The US has recorded 696 cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths, while the UK has 373 confirmed cases and six deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Alphea Saunders

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