Some famous Jamaicans who became COVID-19 victims
Frederick “Toots” Hibbert

The novel coronavirus has claimed many lives around the world, and while Jamaica has already recorded 1,869 deaths so far, many well known names are listed.

Some of them are famous Jamaican singer,Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, former Cabinet minister and veteran politician Dr DK Ducan, journalist Michael Sharpe, reggae music pioneer Delroy Washington and social media influencer Steffie Gregg.

Many people expressed their disbelief at these passing, with Claude Mills, Hibbert's publicist, telling the Jamaica Observer that, “Jamaica has lost a great cultural icon. The soul of an age has died,” and fellow politician, Dr Peter Phillips describing Duncan on social media has “a true revolutionary”.

News of Gregg's passing was greeted with a stunned “No way” by dancehall artiste Popcaan when he wrote the comment under one of her posts on social media, while Deejay Dennis Alcapone told the Sunday Observer at the time that, “He was an inspiration to di youths dem in Harlesden because he had a great vision. He encouraged them to do the right thing.”

Among the others who have died are:

Sam Clayton Jr, 58, Jamaican music producer and former Olympic team member for the Jamaican bobsled team in 1988 Winter Olympics; Derron Wood, councillor for the Fairy Hill Division in Portland Eastern; North East Regional Health Authority Chairman Tyrone Robinson; Gil Bailey, 84, legendary Jamaican radio broadcaster whose show was aired in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; Dr Pauline Knight, retired senior public official and wife of retired politician and attorney-at-law KD Knight; resident magistrate for St Ann, Stanley Clarke; resident magistrate for St Elizabeth, Horace Mitchell; lawyer William Charles McCalla, JP, husband of former Chief Justice Zaila McCalla; May Pen businessman Jim Thomas, and councillor for the Fellowship Division in Portland, Irvin Brown.

With the number of deaths increasing daily, these last few months have shown a significant increase in the death rate recorded across the island. For the period February to August, there was a rise in COVID-19-related deaths by approximately 23 per cent, officials said.

Additionally, Kingston and St Andrew lead all parishes with 397 deaths being recorded since the start of the pandemic, with St Catherine following closely behind with 224 deaths.

St James, Westmoreland and St Elizabeth have recorded 154 deaths each, while Portland had the lowest number of deaths at 34, and St Thomas having the second lowest number with 49 deaths.

Up to last Friday, according to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the overall number of infections was 83,737, with overall recovery reaching 52,817 cases. As it relates to males, they numbered 36,113 while females accounted for 47,621 of the overall cases.

Dr D K Duncan
Stephanie “Steffie” Greg
William “Bill” McCalla
James “Jim” Thomas
Dr Pauline Knight
BY CANDICE HAUGHTON Staff reporter haughtonc@jamaicaobserver.com

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