Jamaica Health Ministry Urges Vigilance Against COVID-19

The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to implore Jamaicans to exercise vigilance in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Principal Medical Officer and National Epidemiologist, Dr. Karen Webster Kerr, told JIS News that  the virus can be transmitted if due care is not taken, especially if persons  are sharing space.

“When somebody coughs or sneezes, little droplets are formed and in a person infected with COVID-19, these droplets are likely to be contaminated.

“The virus can extend to about three feet or a metre and if persons are within three feet of that infected person, they can inhale the droplets with the virus,” she explained.

She noted that persons can also become infected by touching a surface where the droplets from an infected individual have landed, then putting their hands to the eyes, nose or mouth.

Dr. Webster-Kerr told JIS News that persons exposed to COVID-19 become infected, when the virus begins to invade their respiratory system, causing symptoms ranging from sneezing, coughing and fever to shortness of breath or acquire pneumonia.

She noted, however, that the majority of persons have mild symptoms and are better within a few days.

She is advising persons with a cold or displaying flu-like symptoms to stay at home, cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, discard the tissue immediately and wash hands thoroughly.

“If you are in the situation where you come into contact with someone, who has COVID -19 and develops symptoms, do not go out at all but call us to make us aware that you have these symptoms and then we will arrange for your transportation to a health care facility if necessary,” she noted further.

Dr. Webster-Kerr is imploring persons, who are told to remain at home, to adhere to the directive, noting that the Ministry will intervene, if they become ill.