JAMAICA: Health Worker Tests Positive, COVID-19 cases rise to 36


(The Gleaner)

Jamaica last night recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19 among healthcare workers, opening a new frontier of contraction that might raise concerns about protocols and gear to protect front-line public-health personnel .

Hospital staff have called for adequate personal protective equipment to limit contagion from the novel coronavirus, with 36 infections being recorded in Jamaica. One person, a 79-year-old male, has died.

The healthcare worker is a 45-year-old woman who was a contact of a confirmed case, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said in a press statement issued shortly before 11 p.m. on Sunday. The worker’s profession was not disclosed, nor was it immediately clear if infection took place while treating a patient.

The healthcare worker was one of four new infections announced by the ministry in two late-evening releases. Among them is a 54-year-old woman from St Mary, whose mode of transmission is under investigation.

Two other cases were announced yesterday – a 34-year-old woman from St James and a 74-year-old female from St Catherine. Both have a travel history from New York.

Twenty-three of Jamaica’s cases have been confirmed as imported, while another 11 are import-related. Two are under investigation.

The case of a 60-year-old Portland woman whose contraction genesis was undetermined for about a week has been classified as import-related.

With the COVID-19 pandemic already putting a strain on the public-health sector in Jamaica, a new threat might be looming large with the United States Department of State moving to tap countries for medical professionals to fight its own outbreak of the disease.

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