Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has reported an additional six cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jamaica.
He made the disclosure during a digital press conference from the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Wednesday (April 1).
Tufton said that all six new cases are from the community of Corn Piece in Clarendon, which is now under quarantine. This has pushed the total number of confirmed cases to 44.
Jamaica’s first recorded death from COVID-19 was that of a 79-year-old man from the community with a travel history to New York. He was known to have had diabetes and hypertension.
Dr. Tufton emphasised that with this increase, Jamaicans need to continue to limit people-to-people contact.
“The reality is, the most effective way to control the virus’ spread or to flatten the curve is for people-to-people contact to be kept at a minimum, and I think the Corn Piece experience is an indication, again, of why it is that we have to insist on compliance,” he noted.
He lamented that a number of Jamaicans are not complying with the social distancing measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The Government has stipulated that persons stay at least one metre (three feet) away from each other, especially when out in public, and has imposed an all-island curfew for seven days, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., beginning Wednesday (April 1).
Of the 44 confirmed cases, 24 are imported, 17 are import-related cases and three cases are now under investigation. There have been two recoveries and three deaths to date.
The third death, reported at the press conference, is a 41-year-old man with United Kingdom (UK) travel history. He suffered from some underlying conditions and developed renal failure and passed away.