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Patient Tests Negative for Novel Coronavirus

Feb. 13, 2020

The Ministry of Health and Wellness would like to advise the public that the results for the first patient, who was placed in isolation, have come back negative for the novel Coronavirus (COVID19). The results were received on Wednesday, February 12 from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. This patient had arrived in Jamaica on January 30 and presented at the Annotto Bay Hospital and later isolated for further investigation. The patient will now be discharged.  The public was informed on February 10, 2020 of a second person that was isolated after an elevated temperature was detected while the person was being monitored in a government quarantine facility. A sample has been taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing.

In the meantime, a third Jamaican has been put in isolation following arrival into the island at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James. The traveler arrived on Tuesday, February 11 and underwent the relevant protocols in keeping with the current travel restrictions. The Jamaican, who had traveled from China was discovered to have had a fever and was immediately isolated.

“This patient has been isolated in keeping with our protocols whereby anyone who has travelled from China in the last 14 days prior to arrival and has symptoms will be isolated and investigations carried out.” The next steps for this patient will include management of the fever and any other symptoms that develop. A sample has already been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), where it will be tested for the novel coronavirus, (COVID 19). We expect a 48-hour turnaround time for the results once the sample is received.”  Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer noted.

The Ministry wishes to remind the public that the quarantine and isolation procedures are in place to detect and investigate early, all persons who may have been exposed to the virus. The Ministry further advises that infection prevention precautions such as, frequent hand washing; coughing and sneezing in tissue and discarding it, as well as, avoiding contact with ill persons must be practiced by all. Persons who are having flu-like symptoms must stay away from other persons to prevent spread of the infection.