Bond Lane wants COVID-positive residents out


Bond Lane wants COVID-positive residents out

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, June 27, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — A team from the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) were up to last evening conducting house-to-house surveillance in the Bond Lane section of Norwood, St James, in the wake of confirmation of novel coronavirus cases in the community.

A member of the community, who recently returned from abroad and has since reportedly tested positive for novel coronavirus, is being blamed for the community spread.

Of the 13 close contacts to the individual, seven have so far tested positive.

“The index case has been isolated in a government facility and so far 13 close contacts were tested, which resulted in seven positives, two negatives, and four samples are pending,” a release from the WRHA said yesterday.

Member of Parliament for St James North Western Dr Horace Chang visited the community yesterday afternoon as health professionals carried out their work in that section of his constituency.

Chang said angry residents have demanded that individuals who return from abroad be isolated until after they are sure that they are COVID-19 negative.

“...And what you finding now is that citizens are getting angry, their neighbours are getting angry. People are saying that we shouldn't let them [returning residents] in, and when they come you must lock them up no matter where we lock them up they must wait the 14 days. People are annoyed that he came around and put them at risk,” said Dr Chang, who is also the minister of security.

“It is unfortunate, but with many of our citizens coming back home it is a possibility faced. It is just unfortunate that it has happened in this area and in Montego Bay.”

He underscored the importance of people staying home until they are certain they are not infected.

“Now this of course reflects the problem when individuals are affected personally and when they are not. There was a great push on the Government to let in everybody without tests let them come home they are Jamaicans. Now the mood here [in Norwood] is if we have to lock them up in prison we should lock them up.

“ It's unfortunate, because we don't need to be extreme and Government is committed to a policy of opening up our borders, but those who are coming home, our Jamaicans going into the communities, must accept that they must stay home until they are sure they are negative.

“What I have to emphasise with those coming in, they are coming home because they think Jamaica is safe but they can't come and put everybody at risk. So when they come I would advise they stay at home.”

Yesterday's extensive surveillance was carried out by a number of health staff, including nurses, public health inspectors, public health nurse, and community health aides. The team assessed the residents for respiratory symptoms.

“Residents with [flu-like] symptoms and those who the health team deem were at high risk, will be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine orders served,” the WHRA stated.

Regional director of the WRHA Errol Green reminded citizens of the need for “increased vigilance in the maintenance of the quarantine orders that have been issued to persons who recently returned to the island”.

“There is also the need to maintain the infection prevention and control practices, such as the washing and sanitising of hands frequently, the wearing of masks in public spaces and around persons who are in quarantine, the covering of mouths when coughing with a piece of tissue and disposing of it in the nearest receptacle, and the sanitising of high-frequency areas in your homes,” Green said.

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