The Ministry of Health and Wellness is advising the public that there are currently no confirmed cases of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jamaica.
“There are no cases of the Coronavirus on the island at this time. Further, should the virus reach our shores, the Ministry will immediately notify the public,” said Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie.
The CMO’s statement comes amidst rumours that the virus has been detected in Jamaica.
“We understand the public concern and fear associated with the virus, given the scope of the public health threat globally. However, the spread of incorrect information about the virus is decidedly unhelpful to our response efforts,” noted Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton.
“We urge members of the public to contact the Ministry if and when they have concerns or wish to have anything clarified,” the Minister added.
The latest updates on the virus can be found on the Ministry’s website at https://www.moh.gov.jm while the public can learn about the virus at https://www.moh.gov.jm/edu-resources/learn-about-the-coronaviruses.
Jamaica’s response to COVID-19 is happening on two fronts: actions to minimise the risk of exposure among the local population; and actions to enhance the capacity of the public health system to manage patients in the event that there are cases.
Those efforts include imposed travel restrictions to include five countries (China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, and Iran); the patrol of unofficial borders; sensitisation of key personnel at all air and sea ports; as well as the identification and, as appropriate, retrofitting of quarantine and isolation facilities.
The Ministry, among other things, has also developed the local capacity to test for the virus; assessed the readiness of public health facilities to meet the anticipated increase in demand on services; and trained health personnel.