One-year-old boy suspected of contracting COVID-19 released from quarantine after two negative testsWednesday, April 15, 2020
BY ARTHUR HALL
A family from Eight Miles in Bull Bay, St Andrew is breathing a sigh of relief today after tests determined that one of its youngest members, a one-year-old, does not have the dreaded novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The boy and his mother were placed in quarantine at St Joseph's Hospital in St Andrew last Thursday after doctors at Bustamante Hospital for Children expressed concern that he had contracted the virus.
But yesterday, all tests came back negative and the two were taken back to their house in Bull Bay.
“I am feeling very happy that he has been released and that they will be coming home. Even though they were held for a couple of days I am glad of the actions that my prime minister is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I can applaud that,” the child's grandmother, Dionne Kelly, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
According to Kelly, the child was taken to the hospital by her daughter last Thursday evening with a cough which was initially diagnosed as a mild throat infection.
She said the doctors later decided that he could have contracted COVID-19 and ordered that he should be sent to St Joseph's Hospital, which is one of several designated quarantine facilities across the island.
Kelly said based on recent developments the family was convinced that it was not the dreaded virus affecting the child, and family members were concerned that he could instead contract COVID-19 by being placed at the quarantine facility.
“My house was quarantined by the Ministry of Health. The person who came into Jamaica with the first COVID-19 case, my daughter was at that funeral she attended. My god-daughter, who lives with me, was also at that funeral. So the Ministry of Health had quarantined us here for 28 days. But now we have a letter of release.
“My grandson has not left my home, my daughter is not working and she lives with me, and so based on that my grandchild could not have had the virus. He had to be released, unless they were going to come and quarantine the whole house again,” said Kelly.
“We could not leave our house. When they called our phones we had to be here, we had thermometers here that we used to take our temperature and we called them in the morning and evening.
“We were stigmatised as being the 'corona people'. This was the only home in Eight Miles, Bull Bay which was quarantined by the ministry, apart from the other relatives who were quarantined in Seven Miles,” added Kelly.
She said the entire family was worried when the child was held at the State quarantine facility and they were convinced that the health authorities had overreacted.
“I don't understand why every case of fever… is believed to be COVID-19. Unless they have the virus they should not be there,” declared Kelly even as she applauded the Government for its efforts to prevent the community spread of the virus.
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