Worry deepens in St Elizabeth as COVID-19 cases surge

Worry deepens in St Elizabeth as COVID-19 cases surge

Saturday, February 20, 2021

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ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica—With COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations surging, health authorities here are voicing great concern.

Asked Saturday about specific communities rumoured to be most affected by the respiratory illness, Parish Manager for the St Elizabeth Health Department, Sean Brissett said, "I can't pinpoint any specific community... everywhere is affected... the situation is very serious.”

Figures posted yesterday by the Ministry of Health listed St Elizabeth as having 27 of 343 new cases of COVID-19 recorded islandwide over the previous 24 hours.

Brissett told OBSERVER ONLINE that up to Friday, February 19, there had been 750 COVID-19 cases recorded in St Elizabeth since the outbreak began in March of last year. Up to Friday there were 129 active cases—people in isolation after testing positive—while 588 had recovered from the illness.

So far in St Elizabeth there have been 22 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, while another 11 deaths are said to be under investigation or have been listed as co-incidental.

Brissett said nine of the 23 beds on the COVID-19 isolation ward at the Black River Hospital were occupied up to yesterday. Six people listed as critically ill have been transferred to higher grade hospitals in Kingston and Mandeville.

"I can't emphasise enough how important it is for people to be extra careful and follow the protocols such as wearing masks and keeping social distance from others," Brissett said.

Garfield Myers

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