Jamaica Government Denies Case of Coronavirus but Issues Advisory Against Travel to and From China

by: - January 29, 2020
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(Caribbean360) Health authorities have sought to assure Jamaicans that there is no case of the deadly new coronavirus at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

There had been reports that the hospital’s accident and emergency department was on partial shutdown as personnel treated a suspected case of the coronavirus that has left more than 130 people dead in China.

However, at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said there was no truth to the claim that there was such a case.

Medical Chief of Staff at the UHWI, Dr Carl Bruce further explained that a patient, who recently travelled to China and had flu symptoms, was transferred to the UHWI from another hospital and an assessment of the individual was done “out of an abundance of caution”.

However, he said, the patient who returned to Jamaica on January 14 did not exhibit symptoms of the virus, which includes a fever exceeding 30 degrees celsius.

“The patient is doing well…and the university hospital will continue to do the evaluation and testing and will discharge the patient, as per our usual protocol, as soon as all those testing and evaluation are completed,” Dr Bruce said.

Meantime, minister Tufton disclosed that a travel advisory was being issued for travel between Jamaica and China.

“Persons in China who were planning to travel to the island are being asked to defer those plans. For those in Jamaica, who had planned on travelling to china, we are asking that they also defer their plans,” he said.

“For persons in transit to Jamaica, our quarantine protocols will be put in place where persons will either be quarantined in a health facility or at home, depending on the risk assessment done.”

The health minister also indicated that active surveillance would continue at Jamaica’s ports of entry.