Breaking News: Jamaica Records 1st Coronavirus Case – March 10 2020

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good afternoon I’m Herman green with the
midday news a special welcome to those of you watching online at one spot
Mediacom we begin with news that the Ministry of Health has called an
emergency press conference to make an announcement on the cove it 19
coronavirus noir reporter shamela pullin is there and we are work grant joined in
her life to hear what’s happening at the press conference Tamela Thank You Herman
the Minister of Health called an emergency press briefing we’re
here on standby the health technocrats are not here as yet to make that big
announcement that we’re here waiting for but until then it’s back to your
hormones all right thank you shemitah so the Ministry of Health has called that
press conference it’s training for twelve o’clock so we’re waiting for the
minister to take a seat and make his announcement in the meanwhile the Health
Ministry is seeking to assure Jamaicans that the man who ran away from a
quarantine facility in st. Andrew Monday evening is not a threat to society
speaking at a media briefing this morning
Health Minister dr. Christopher Tufton said the 27 year old man who is from a
st. Mary address has not been exhibiting symptoms of the novel coronavirus cove
819 he was held in the Waffen Park area sometime after 2 o’clock this morning
during an operation by the police and the Ministry of Health however the
incident raises questions for security to be beefed up at these quarantine
facilities there’d be a technical assessment done to determine who the
person was in contact with my understanding is that a person went and
visited a female friend or companion and that was the sort of extent of their
contact obviously in transit to the location one enough to examine the it’s
important also to know that a person did not display any symptoms they’re in
observation and they still have not so there is no need to be too alarmed
unless something happens beyond that and remember know the virus spreads when
persons are displaying symptoms now doctor Tufton said the man reached the
law and could be charged based on the quarantine act and the Ministry of Health says to date
243 travelers who have been seen as persons of interest landed at the
country’s international airport’s chief medical officer dr. Jacqueline Bisset
sir McKenzie says 63 of those individuals have been refused entry 23
placed in quarantine and 9 in isolation dr. B says the Mackenzie says the latest
person who has been placed in isolation took place yesterday 8 persons that had
come in Street from the airport’s or from community who went straight to the
emergency department of the hospital if they went come him in from the community
or straight from the airports to isolation and those 8 persons were
tested negative so we have one additional person yesterday who
presented as an emergency department of one of our hospitals and has now been
isolated the samples have been taken off and the tests are being done and we
expect that today we will get back those results just a reminder that we are
still understand but we’re waiting for the emergency press conference called by
the Ministry of Health for an announcement on the kovat 19 coronavirus
as soon as the minister is ready we will be joining him live in the United States
the Grand Princess cruise ship on Monday docked in Oakland California at least 21
of its crew members and passengers are infected with an avocado virus we have
more from the CNN barred from port for five days at least twenty-one
coronavirus cases on board the Grand Princess finally pulls in first of all
there are some children there who are compromised they want to get them off
every passenger will be screened then treated or quarantined at military bases
in California and beyond we may have to stay on the ship for a few more days
it’s gonna be quite a lengthy process meanwhile Florida a sister ship the
Caribbean princess now under a no sail order because
two crew members were previously on ships with a positive case up in
Washington state where 19 have died at this nursing home and beyond echoes of a
nationwide concern that a lack of early testing hurt containment debbie de los
ángeles mother died says they’re still waiting on her test result they said
well tests were sure there was a shortage the nursing home says all
remaining residents have now been tested colleges and school districts in
Washington state California and New York among others closing classrooms
the Empire State now taking the initiative using prisoners to
manufacture up to a hundred thousand gallons of hand sanitizer a week because
you can’t get it on the market and when you get it it’s very very expensive last
Monday morning there were 89 confirmed cases in this country today we topped
600 meanwhile the World Health Organization says there are numerous
lessons that the world must learn from China in the treatment of the corona
virus this analysis from the w-h-o as China has reported drastic reductions in
the number of infections from over 2000 cases per day to know just over 100
cases per day the big lessons first of all that we
learn from China you don’t learn in Wuhan in in Luhan you learn what can go
wrong if you let this virus run and for China at that early stage remember new
virus never seen before it didn’t have a diagnostic didn’t know what would happen
we didn’t know how to control it so this is what happens but what we’ve learned
from the other areas of China there’s 31 provinces all of them got infected none
of them had the experience of Wuhan because he acted differently and first
they went fast speed meant so much secondly to get that speed they
mobilized the whole population the the population the people became their
surveillance system to help find this disease prevent the disease but when it
did occur rapidly get isolated so that they didn’t spread it to others and that
was because the population knew what the problem was and they were a big part of
the solution that is the big big lesson you cannot do this by government you
cannot do it by the health authorities alone you need it all working in sync
that’s the critical piece and just a reminder that the Ministry of Health has
called an emergency press conference and we’re standing by to hear from the
ministry I will show you for 12 o clock but the Minister has not taken the seat
as yet to address us so we’re still waiting to hear from him on that we
don’t take a break here on the midday news but please stay with us we have
more news when we return welcome back and thanks for staying with
us and we continue as we are awaiting the press conference from the Ministry
of Health where the Minister is supposed to should be having an emergency press
conference on the cove 819 you’re now seeing images from the location where we
expect the minister to take a seat any minute now to give us that update we’re
standing by for that press conference a reporter shamela pullin is there and
she’s on standby to give us the latest on whatever is announced or whatever is
presented at that press conference in the meantime a top-level meeting is
scheduled for today at tourism as tourism interests grapple with the
imminent threat of kovat 19 this comes as the United States issued a travel
warning telling citizens not to go on a cruise Jamaica’s tourism minister Edmund
Bartlet is insisting that the negative impact of kovat 19 can be minimized if
stakeholders adhere to protocols and your Chisolm spoke with him yesterday
uncertainty and fear gripped crew and passengers on the Grand Princess cruise
ship as new surfaced that a man on the ship contracted Cove in 19 and later
died over 20 people who were on the ship tested positive for the virus that
contributed to the US State Department urging citizens especially those with
underlying health conditions not to go on a cruise out of an abundance of
caution Jamaica has denied entry to at least two cruise ships as Kovac 19 fears
intensify so why not a complete ban I think you ban if you can’t manage and if
everybody is committed to doing their part to make sure that the protocols are
observed the tourism minister indicated that cruise lines are further
scrutinizing passengers checking medical and travel history before allowing them
to go cruising and so that sector along with other stakeholders including hotels
and attractions will attend a high-level meeting on Tuesday
do a situation analysis that the director of tourism will provide and
then we would have a discussion with the sector’s making first of all their input
as they see it as it is affecting their element of the sector and then
afterwards we have a general discussion and then we look at the way forward
Edmund Bartlett adds that the tourism product development company TPD Co will
be working closely with officials from the Health Ministry TPD Co is going to
spearhead that whole area of dealing with the protocols and making sure that
the education that is required in the hotels and the attractions everywhere
will be ensuring that posters are everywhere that information about how to
do whatever and also that physical facilities are in the hotels and the
places of attraction so that people can wash their hands people could wipe their
hands and so on three things will be guiding decisions scientific evidence
facts and wise leadership we think and we still holding that at the end of the
year we could come out at about a percent up and 1.5 or 2% up in earnings
so basically then Jamaica is not projecting a loss over last year what we
are projecting is a reduction in the rate of growth over lasted meanwhile
Jamaica has banned travel from five countries which have recorded thousands
of kovat 19 infections Iran China South Korea Singapore and Italy in the u.s.
over 30 of the 50 states have confirmed cases are we contemplating a ban on the
United States as well that’s a question in all fairness that has to be answered
at another place we we are focused heavily on how do we ensure that along
with health only the right people come to Jamaica and that we are not exposed
at all Andrea Chisholm tbj news in the meantime there’s a call from the World
Health Organization for governments to ensure the protection of health workers
as countries spring into action to contain the spread of koban 19
the pronouncement was made yesterday at the w-h-o press conference as at March 9
more than 100 countries had recorded cases of the corona virus a breakdown
from the World Health Organization points to more than 100,000 cases while
the global death toll has also risen to more than 3000 the w-h-o is still not
calling it a pandemic but says it’s close we’re reaching that point and when
you reach 100 countries and when you reach 100,000 cases it is time to step
back and think too of two weeks ago there was 30 or 40 countries so now it’s
100 countries and that’s not a quantitative measure but it is a
qualitative measure of what direction we’re going in the w-h-o however remains
optimistic that the virus can be contained it would be the first pandemic
in history that could be controlled the bottom line is we are not at the mercy
of the virus the great advantage we have is that the
decisions we all make as governments businesses communities families and
individuals can influence the trajectory of this epidemic scientists are still
scrambling to learn as much as they can about the virus additionally the w-h-o
says it’s taking a comprehensive look at who is at high risk for death this is
not data as of today but data from from earlier that mortality among people who
are over 80 is highest amongst the age group in the end the mortality is above
20% there are there is higher mortality for people who have underlying
conditions for example for those with cardiovascular disease around 13% for
those who have diabetes around 9% for those with chronic respiratory disease
around 8% and for those with cancer around seven and a half
now these numbers you know are based on a subset of the total cases that have
been reported to date meanwhile the whu-oh of use as critical
the need for adequate medical care for health workers who will be dealing with
kovat 19 infected patients the very minimum we can give those frontline
workers is the PPE and the training and the management arrangements so we can
manage their stress and their fatigue and I think most countries are moving to
do that and that’s why we spoke earlier about this issue of requisitioning of
PPE the real tragedy I think in the coming days and weeks will be the moral
hazard and the dilemma that health workers may face if they’ve got covered
19 patients in front of them who need help and they don’t have the protective
equipment to protect themselves would you like to be that health worker would
you like to be a doctor or a nurse having to treat a patient knowing full
well that you are not protected that’s an awful dilemma that no health worker
no health worker in the world should have to face and just a reminder that we
are understand by where we come to join the Ministry of Health for an emergency
press conference for an announcement on Kovan 19 coronavirus the minister is
supposed to address the conference it was sailing for 12 o clock and we are
waiting for him to get to the venue to speak to us on that update
in the meantime asked over 19 continues to affect several sectors head coach of
the sprint Tech Track Club Maurice Wilson says he believes there is a
strong possibility the Olympic Games won’t be held because of the threat of
kovat 19 but Wilson says he is still preparing his athletes as normal despite
those concerns Jordan Ford has the details
the spread of kovat 19 has affected a number of sporting events thus far and
has been raising questions over the staging of this summer’s Olympics in
Tokyo Japan but while saying he thinks there is a 65% chance the games won’t be
held Jamaica and sprint tech track and field head coach Maurice Wilson says he
is still preparing his athletes with a July start date in mind as I’ve know we
are preparing if Olympics is in July because we do
have obligations that we must meet but there has also been talk of possibly
shifting the date of the Olympics with it being said that they have until as
late as December to have the games if the Olympics is in December it’s
definitely going to have an effect on most of the athletes who have been
training because remember would have been coming out to a season where the
World Championships was in October and so far for the interim we will continue
to train as we are maintaining await the information if it goes to December then
we will have to know take a break look at what is in front of us and
recalibrate caliber we would have to come again then put it that way
in terms of our preparations Chuck and fields a premier seasonal event the
Diamond League is set to get going in just over a month’s time and will
feature meets in China and Italy countries which have been grappling with
the widespread outbreak of the virus Wilson was also asked about the
possibility of a financial hit that his club could take if athletes aren’t able
to travel to compete in the various Diamond League mates I really don’t even
want to think about that because I would have said earlier we were preparing
athletes for for the World Indoor Championships this is the first year we
have made significant investment in terms of sending athletes are brought to
get the qualifying time to run had Merlin do it and Merlin doors have been
cancelled and so the last is would have started from January but what if his
athletes were to decide on their own that they would take the risk to travel
for the Diamond League meets well athletes are there are individuals they
are not in my kids are not contracted to any organization that determines what
they do so it is an individual choice what I will say though am I’m more sure
that in terms of staffing I cannot guarantee that any of the sprint X Taff
would be support in such a venture this summer’s Olympics is set to run from
July 24 to almost 9:00 in Tokyo Japan and just a reminder that we are awaiting
a emergency press conference at the Ministry of Health where Health Minister
Otto Christopher Thornton and his team is expected to give an update on the
covent 19 virus we go on to other news a major explosion at the tower restaurant
are not for Boulevard in New Kingston brought business the business district
to a standstill this morning at News time emergency crews were still at the
location TVJ News understands that about minutes to 11:00 a loud explosion was
heard then fire and smoke were seen coming from the building it’s believed
that a gas leak from the restaurant cylinders caused the catastrophe at
least one motor vehicle which was parked in front of the building was destroyed
there are no reports of injuries and we now go back to reports on the corona
virus as the Public Health System is bracing to deal with thousands of
additional sick people should Cove it 19 which Jamaica 2 billion dollars has been
set aside to both of the system in the meantime an aggressive sensitization
program on proper hygiene is to be rolled out more from Duane Anderson I
near 2 billion dollar response plan is in place should Cove in 19 reach Jamaica
and a large chunk of that money will be spent in the health sector due to the
strain it could come under Health Minister dr. Christopher Tufton said an
assessment has been done and health facilities could be asked to respond to
tens of thousands of additional persons seeking health care some 800,000 will
seek medical care in public and private facilities at the height of the outbreak
we could see as much as 35,000 or so people seeking care within a given week
close to 50% of the more than 800,000 persons we expect access care and our
public health facilities at the height of the outbreak
we could see approximately 16,000 persons in a week further just about
2,000 of the cases visiting public health facilities we anticipate will
experience severe acute respiratory infection requiring hospice
here and of this number some 360 will require critical gear but that’s all if
so while the virus is not in Jamaica the authorties will try to keep it out so
far travel restrictions have been imposed on five countries Singapore
China South Korea Italy and Iran the minister insists the authorities will be
unconscious as the need arises phones will also be spent to sense it as the
public about the importance of proper hygiene the success of our efforts is
contingent on the support of all Jamaicans including the deliberate
efforts to access and share accurate information on the virus thus helping to
minimize the fears and anxiety that has been associated with the spread of the
kovat 19 at the same time we must in keeping with good hygiene maintain a
distance of at least 2 metres from persons who are coughing or sneezing
frequently perform hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and
water or using a hand sanitizer if hands are not visibly soiled cover our mouths
and noses when coughing or sneezing with a tissue and then discarding it and
avoid touching our faces and each other unnecessarily the kovat 19 response plan
received the approval of Prime Minister Andrew Holness following a meeting with
the National Disaster Risk Management Council last week doing an Anderson TVJ
news and we remind you once again that we are standing by to hear from the
Ministry of Health they are holding a emergency an emergency press conference
on kovat 19 or expecting the minister to address the audience there and will be
carrying it alive so to address the public also our viewers as soon as
possible so our reports are similar put in she’s also there she will be giving
us an update details on whatever is unknowns whatever is presented at that
emergency press conference in the meantime a controversial research paper
is claiming that kovat 19 has split into two distinct strains and that it is
possible for persons to be infected with both the research was done through a
joint study virus virgins from multiple Chinese
universities Andrew lately has the details
scientists in China studying the outbreak of the novel coronavirus say
they have discovered two main strains of the virus affecting humans
the researchers cautioned that their study looked only at a limited range of
data and said fallout studies are larger data sets were needed to better
understand that the viruses evolution the preliminary study found that a more
aggressive strain of the novel coronavirus associated with the outbreak
in Wuhan accounted for about 70% of analyzed cases while 30% were linked to
a less aggressive type they say the prevalence of the more aggressive virus
decreased after early January suspicions heightened when this Australian couple
Karen and Jason honey both tested positive for the virus but exhibited
completely different symptoms Karen’s illness began with a few eggs
progressing to coughing and a high fever but curiously jason has no symptoms
despite testing positive the novel coronavirus like all other viruses
mutates or undergo small changes in its genome but not every expert is convinced
a more aggressive strain exists other experts argue the two types the Chinese
researchers claimed to have identified were a result of both normal viral
mutation and errors in data that they were relying on in the meantime the
researchers are warning that the effects of kovat 19 on the human body is like a
combination of SARS and AIDS as it damages both the lungs and immune
systems the World Health Organization says some people who contracted the
virus will show symptoms others will not and 80% will recover without needing
special treatment and relatedly TVJ news and just in case you’re wondering why we
have this many covered 19 stories in the midday newscast we are on standby we’re
waiting for the Health Ministry they’re having an emergency press conference on
kovat 19 and unknown when tangkuban 19 virus we spoke to the
Minister of Health dr. Christopher toughened that’s a short while ago he
said he will be big big he would be starting that press conference within
another three or so minutes so we will be carrying that live you can stay tuned
to get all the details from that press conference as soon as he begins no just
just a bit of background here we this morning we got this from the Ministry of
Health a press release that says the Ministry of Health and Wellness is
currently monitoring a patient in isolation the person of interest
presented at hospital on Monday March 9 with some respiratory symptoms and
checks revealed that the patients travel history included travel to a country
that has confirmed cases of kovat 19 so we are not clear on what the
announcement will be but we are standing by to hear from the minister what is
this emergency announcement on the Kovach 19 coronavirus and meanwhile the
World Health Organization says there are numerous lessons that the world must
learn from China in the treatment of the corona virus no this is and this
analysis is from the w-h-o as China has reported drastic reductions in the
number of infections from over 2000 cases per day to no 100 per day the big
lessons first of all that we learn from China you don’t learn in Wuhan in in
Luhan you learn what can go wrong if you let this virus run and for China at that
early stage remember new virus never seen before it didn’t have a diagnostic
didn’t know what would happen we didn’t know how to control it so this is what
happens but what we’ve learned from the other areas of China there’s 31
provinces all of them got infected none of them had the experience of Wuhan
because he acted differently and first they went fast speed meant so much
secondly to get that speed they mobilized the whole population the the
population the people became their surveillance system to help find this
disease prevent the disease but when it did occur rapidly get isolated so that
they didn’t spread it to others and that was because the population knew what the
problem was and they were a big part of the solution that is the big big lesson
you cannot do this by government and I do by the health authorities alone
you need it all working in sync that’s the critical piece now a top-level
meeting is scheduled for today as tourism interests grapple with the
imminent threat of kovat 19 this comes as the United States issued a travel
warning telling citizens not to go on a cruise and with the hole in that story
as we understand that the minister is now ready for that press conference as
you can see images live from the Ministry of Health
Health Minister dr. Christopher Toffler now taking the seat to address the
country to address the audience on kovat 19 our reporter shamela pullin is
present she’ll be there to give us a report on whatever information is
presented whatever details we can get from that press conference okay okay good afternoon everyone
let me just apologize for the delay in in starting all right so let me welcome
all of you and I’m gonna read from a statement at which point we can deal
with any questions that may flow from that so thank you for joining this us
this afternoon for what is an important development with the corona virus
disease 2019 or kovat 19 that is it as it is referred to Jamaica today
confirmed its first imported case of corona virus disease 2019 over 2019 here
in Kingston the patient is a Jamaican female what travelled from the United
Kingdom which as you know has a que as cases of kovat 19 she arrived in the
island on March 4th presented to the public health system on
March 9th and has been in isolation since then based on the patient’s travel
history and symptoms health professionals suspected Kobe 19 when she
presented herself a clinical sample was collected and sent to the national
influenza Center where lab tests confirmed the diagnosis today at
approximately 11:00 a.m. the patient and family members have been informed of the
development the patient’s infection was travel-related
based on the assessment however steps are being taken to prevent the risk of
community spread these measures include the dispatch of a health team to the
home of the patient for assessment and initiation of public health measures the
identification and contact tracing for all possible exposed persons meeting of
ministry officials with members of staff at the hospital
unnecessary interventions that are required to be put in place in addition
in addition imposed travel restrictions remain in place in fact three countries
have been added to the list of the five that were originally announced China
Italy South Korea Singapore and Iran are the original countries that was
previously made public we have added to that Spain France and Germany the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign trade and I met this morning with the
ambassador’s of those countries as well as the EU ambassador and I’ve informed
them that based on the risk assessment of communities spread of the virus in
those countries that travel restrictions would be imposed further in as part of
the overall strategy that was may put in effect some time ago
I’d like to advise the public to continue to observe and perhaps
strengthen their sensitivities to public gatherings which we are discouraging
non-essential travel we continue to patrol irregular border crossings
sensitization of key personnel at all air and seaports will continue we have
designated for quarantine facilities and others will be identified and those are
being used or being prepared to be used and we are finalizing the retrofitting
of isolation facilities in each of the islands public hospitals on the
readiness of the islands health system the ministry has developed the local
capacity to test for the virus which we did which has led to the confirmation of
this particular case thanks to training support
and material support from the Pan American Health Organization assess the
readiness of our health facilities to meet the anticipated increase in demand
on services continue to address existing gaps including with respect of
additional supplies or equipment through at the present time we have enough
personal protective equipment in the island for health facilities we also
have adequate stores of respite or medicine for the next three months with
additional supplies on demand and we continue of course to train our public
health care givers India in the event that they are required to support
persons who are so affected these efforts are supported of course by a
communications campaign to keep each member of the population updated on the
virus and its impact and with oversight that is being provided by the Honorable
Prime Minister and rule has led National Disaster Risk Management Council and
I’ve had a conversation with the Honorable Prime Minister when we learned
of this development and I know he has been in contact with the leader of the
Opposition informing him of of these this latest development so we’re taking
all of rule of society approach with our national leaders fully informed I have
also named who vide 19 response advisory team that will support the ministry of
health and wellness in our planning and coordination with respect of the to this
public health challenge so this team will work with us within the ministry of
health and wellness of course we report to the National Disaster Response
Committee which is a much more broader team multi-stakeholder multi-agency team
the members of this advisory team for the ministry of health and wellness are
mr. Howard Mitchell former president of the private sector organization of
Meiko mr. Christopher Zeca who is currently president of the of Sajha
Corps CEO of such a core mr. Owen Ellington former Commissioner of Police
Reverend Devon dick Jamaica Baptists Union dr. marina rank ‘soon deputy
Associate Dean Faculty of Social Sciences at UWA commander Wen’s Gorman
and Lieutenant Colonel Sidney Powell of the JTF and ACP Calvin Allen of the jcf
the ministry is also urging the public to adhere to infection prevention and
control measures as a standard operating procedure in fact it is more important
now than ever which includes maintaining a distance of at least one meter from
persons were coughing or sneezing frequently perform hand hygiene by
washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer hands
are not visibly soiled of our mouths and noses with that tissue when coughing or
sneezing and then discarding it and resist a habit to touch our faces for
additional information we encourage the public to visit our website the ministry
of health and wellness or contact the number
it-it-it one love that’s it eat it six six three five six eight three I would
like to use the opportunity to appeal to the public to remain calm in the face of
this most recent development and to implement all the advisories related to
personal hygiene social distancing and overall infection prevention control I’d
like to reassure the public that the government of Jamaica the Ministry of
Health and Wellness is doing all that is necessary to keep the public informed to
establish the necessary infrastructure to confront this particular issue and
frankly speaking we anticipated from some time ago
that this day it was a strong possibility that this day would come
given the pace of the spread of this virus globally and the internal spread
and the fact that as a society we’re part of the global community with
relatively open borders so we have been preparing in the event of today and we
have no just triggered the next phase of the response which because of an
imported case would include as a priority containment of the particular
case was to prevent the community transmission which would be another
phase but we still feel that the country needs to be informed be alert and to
take the necessary precautions as an absolute preventative measure the other
point I’d like to say is that we are doing what is necessary to trace persons
who have come in contact with this particular individual and we have
already made contact with individuals family members we have already
established a protocol if you will they be confined to a particular space to
their homes and further assessment of that situation is ongoing as we speak
and again that is in keeping with the protocol of containment once a case
would have been identified and in this case an imported case so I will end here
and entertain questions what I’m gonna ask the representative from the
University Hospital of the West Indies to take a seat are they’re here No ok
all right they’re on their way because I suspect you may want some questions as
it relates to the institution the chief medical officer is here and of course
the permanent secretary so we will entertain questions known right so what I’m saying is that based
on our assessment of inventory I have been advised that we have enough
medicines for patients who have respiratory related ailments which is
associated with this disease and could provide those supplies up to the next
three months I’m also told by the nhf that additional supplies are on order
and therefore we would expect a Bal study inventory as needed during that
period of time during that period of time yes I am I am relying on the information
from the National Health Fund and the team there and they would have done
their sort of surveys with suppliers throughout the country and beyond
because they did with overseas suppliers also and they have said to me that they
have strong relationships and would therefore ideal for confident that they
would be able to replenish supplies as needed okay so decisions are going to have to
be made in the not-too-distant future as it relates to these public gatherings I
know that cabinet took a decision last evening for the minister of education to
advise as it relates to the Penn Relays and schools by now should have been
advised that the government is taking a position to not participate at the Penn
Relays this year because that travel and the location could involve levels of
risks that we would like to discourage and so we are but I’m saying it no
publicly but we were going to actually put an advisory robes against that
trouble as it relates the boys and girls jumps there is a meeting scheduled
between the organizers the minister of sports and the Minister of Education and
myself and the main sponsor I think grace Kennedy of course is the main
sponsor where a decision will be taken and that decision should be taken within
24 hours but needless to say the fact that we know of a case nevertheless and
imported case it does raise the elevates the concerns as it relates to public
gatherings and that could be applied to all major public gatherings for the time
being no I mean the the country from where the
person traveled the UK I think this person enjoys dual citizenship there are
Jamaican but with a UK citizenship and I don’t want to go into too much details
about the individual but the person troubled they would have been screened
as all passengers would be at the airport but they were not on the list of
countries that would have been quarantined remember we had some
specific countries based on the internal spread the UK even though it has the
virus and it is getting worse would not have represented one of those high risk
at the time what having so the person would have been screened in a normal
course of activities at the port of entry but having arrived one of the
things that we tell persons who come in is that they must also self assess and
they are given documentation to that effect and I think the person did not
based on what investigations suggest have symptoms until later days after
arriving and having had those symptoms they went to see their doctor which led
to all the other things that have transpired there there are no guarantees as it
relates to our absolutes as it relates to the spread of this Paris and I think
we have said that there are no the only absolute from preventing an imported
case is to shut Jamaica off from the rest of the world and the Eva so under
the legal framework you can’t Jamaica from Jamaica’s who are all over the
world and want to come back home what you do is quarantine them so the reality
is as the virus spreads it it it it increases the possibilities and the
exposure which is why we said in the early stages of public education and
information that a key part of the strategy strategy was the delay to allow
us time to plan for the eventualities or the possibility of it coming
in other words restricting where the risk was greatest while preparing our
internal infrastructure personnel training sensitization so that the more
the risk increases globally is the more likely it will remain all the viruses in
about 112 countries the last 60 countries are so over the last three
weeks so it’s it’s really moving at a very rapid rate we are like this 650 for
six Caribbean island to have the virus so we have been able to delay to a
certain point and what is very important for us in this phase is to contain to
probe to prevent community spread hence the measures that are being taken I
don’t have the CMO wants to comment further on that yes all right let me get the let me ask the
same or to respond we would want to reiterate that our basic premise is that
persons who do not have symptoms are not transmitting the virus okay that is what
we have based our interventions on this person became symptomatic while in the
island so at the time that a person was in the airplane the person did not
report any symptoms okay okay so our main interest and big focus
at this point is going to be enabling resources to do the contact tracing so
we would be looking at the transportation that brought the person
in the home situation we will be tracking where and where this person has
been what kind of events they have attended to and that will give us an
assessment of what kind of risk is the risk confined to one home is there is
confined to a community is it confined to several communities and we would have
to put in measures based on that once we have we have gotten the the immediate
contacts of those persons we will be looking at quarantine for those persons
depending on how many persons are involved in terms of our investigations
then we will be looking to self quarantine and of course at this time we
would want all our primary care facilities public and private to be on
alert because they must get a travel history contact history from persons
that are coming in with any kind of influenza like illness or flu-like
illness and it cause respiratory symptoms so I think that is where or
a.m. has to be for every body to be sensitized to what is happening
we have more a more increased level of awareness so that they can report to the
public health authorities that we can do the necessary investigations and
containment as necessary yes I certainly can the question is today and and and
one of the challenge is let me just say I mean nothing nothing is a secret in
Jamaica’s you know and I prefer I say it rather than others start to speculate
what I want to say before I say the parish that we really ought to I mean
urging the public to as difficult as it is to exercise some
control over the propensity to to to to seek out to further inquire or worse to
be overly assertive in whatever way shape or form our own unaffected
individual or affected home environment and I’m saying it for reasons that I
think I need to say it I don’t want persons to be intimidated
or abused in any way shape or form because they are unfortunate to have had
the virus however they would have picked it up not to mention other persons who
are not affected but who are from a similar home or family environment and I
think it’s very important that I ask the public to exercise some care as it
relates to this we’re all in this thing together and and no matter how much we
try we’re not going to eliminate through aggression or otherwise the existence or
the threat that is represented here with this virus it really is through a
coordinated attempt no I know I’m long-winded in giving a simple response
but nevertheless I understand and for the unfortunate elements of our culture
and I think it’s important to say for the record what the person is is in on
the board of st. Thomas and st. Thomas and st. Angela stays in the body you mean in terms of
how long the person’s infectious okay so that’s two different things all right so
the person is infectious as we know and let us understand that new information
is happening every day okay and so we get more and more information and we
will update as we get the information but as it is known the virus is can be
passed on to persons when the pertly the patient has symptoms so once the patient
stops having symptoms then what we tend to do is we tend to do to repeated tests
okay over a period of 48 to 2 to 4 days to see if there is virus still present
and based on that then we’ll be see that received a discharge the person however
as I said we have information is changing new information and we will
update as as needed right now the patient is stable okay and
and we have mild symptoms I would add some dr. Bruce if he wants to to expand
on that no the patient has cm who said is stable and will continue to observe
the patient okay let’s fix it up a little is there
anybody undecided once a sequestered no all right I’ll come back to this side the Ministry and the hospital has been
used in the time since January to prepare our team has an operational plan
and as of yesterday they executed that plan you know in responding to that question
I’m responding also to the question about cases coming in from all the
different countries because we have to recognize that Jamaica know falls into
the category of one of those countries that has one imported case an imported
case for every country means that they are going to isolate that case they are
going to do the necessary contact tracing and they are going to try to
contain that to a specific area and try to narrow that don’t dealing okay so it
does not mean that the entire country is contaminated alright so right now we
have one imported case that has been isolated the Public Health Team is a
strong team that is going to be out there doing the contact investigations
we have started to do that already we have started to look at the circle of
persons we are ensuring that those persons stay on the controlled
situations that we can monitor effectively I wanna raise another issue
which i think is important at some point in time the country will have to engage
in a conversation and we will have to initiate that conversation around the
dissecting the data the numbers of persons who are affected if this becomes
if eventually we have community spread the reality is that the virus does not
symbolize a death sentence for those who are so infected that’s very important in
fact the numbers that we placed in the public domain through a public broadcast
I made a few days ago indicated that the vast majority of Jamaicans who may can’t
be contaminated with the virus will recover and and it also outlines very
clearly who the vulnerable groups are all the persons with underlining
conditions compromised immune systems and so on so while it is our intention
and we encourage cooperation from the public in this
regard to keep the virus out of Jamaica or to contain it when it is discovered
we do not want persons to engage in panic because they interpret the virus
to mean the most extreme result because that is
certainly not the history of the virus in other countries and we do not we
certainly know it won’t be the case here we just have to deal with it and that’s
what we are doing what I announced in my presentation that
we are imposing on three additional countries for now for now those are the
three Spain Germany and France a body assessment is an ongoing assessment well
I will only say what I said in the statement that we certainly discourage
non-essential travel as an important part of this so if your cruise is
absolutely essential then it wouldn’t fall in that category but if it if it’s
not then one would have to be advised and the same would apply for air travel
also by the way all right so yes the patient did leave
the facility where he was under quarantine conditions he was
subsequently retrieved and placed back in the facility the there there has been
a discussion with the Constabulary around security arrangements at these
facilities at a conversation with our a conversation with the police
commissioner and we are in dialogue around what needs to be done
additionally because we do get support to ensure that this does not happen
again the person who left the facility did so not just against the will of the
healthfirst healthcare professionals but also in contravention of the law and so
proceedings will be levied against the person they’ll be charged because we
have to discourage this kind of activity our responsibility as a government and
as a ministry is to protect the well-being of the society and if persons
knowingly puts the rest of us in a compromising position then the law has a
response for that so that will that will take its course
but while we’re doing that we’re going to ensure that we beef up this
arrangement it’s important though to add as I believe the clinicians can come in
and support that the person was in quarantined for observation but the
person was not displaying symptoms we quarantine facilities is as a result of
the person coming from a country of interest a Jamaican coming from one of
those five countries we place them under 14 their quarantine
arrangement even there in though they display good health and because that’s
the period of time that the virus would take to show symptoms and then we
release them and we have done that to a number of Jamaicans both in their home
setting and at the government institutions so the fact that a person
went out doesn’t necessarily symbolize a threat but there’s our possibility so
what we’re doing now is observing and the reality is that if the person is
unfortunate to demonstrate symptoms then we have to know engage another phase
which is the tracing of where the person went who they were in contact with and
then those persons will be brought into the net so let’s hope that doesn’t occur
but nevertheless an activity that we have to discourage because it does place
all of us with a greater burden and at risk I have to leave that to the
investigators I can tell you that right often I didn’t do it I don’t I’m a
novice lawyer so I would venture to give you a response we stated age young
person it’s it’s a young a young adult we will provide more information as time
goes by that will enable us to carry out our public health measures right right
no it is crucial that we make the initial contacts and you know we try to
get persons in as much as possible so we would as soon as we’re able we’ll
provide additional information to the public right so so we this this whole period of
quarantine persons have you know have demonstrated several effects you know
not just on the persons in quarantine what the person’s work who are attending
to them and we have put in place measures in terms of psychological
support and we will continue to do so and especially when situations like this
happen it just says to us that to look to see what else we can do to help to
alleviate the fears and to calm the nerves and enable them to go through
this period safely right now the virus is in 105 countries
I think it is clear that it does not target a particular race however we will
continue to review the information that has been provided to us and if we get
any such information we will update you the virus does not discriminate and nor
are we in terms of our strategy nationwide as a we we are presently
going through the complete itinerary of that person enable in order to be able
to do the contact tracing as I said it is very important for us to demonstrate
whether the risk is localized or how wide it is because that is going to
determine what kind of public health measures that we are going to have to
put in no the person did come to Jamaica to attend a particular event
I think it’s an event that you have referred to right so yes but the
investigations would be of a particular approach that would determine when the
person actually demonstrated symptoms and and so whatever reasons why we are
cautious to to sort of elaborate we don’t want people at that event to start
running all over the place and and and sounding alarm as if they have a virus I
remember no the virus spreads up to this point based on the clinical information
we have when persons displays symptoms through droplets through coughing
sneezing that sort of thing so the further person may have attended an
event doesn’t necessarily mean that those persons are exposed it’s subject
to the investigation which is why the chief medical officer is being
conservative until she has further invoked
information well you know you you you you’re really harsh on us I mean we
learn top of this thing in live more clock and we call a press conference for
12:00 so I think you can create what we’re doing fairly well so far terms of
keeping the public informed as soon as the information is available we will
make it available it’s very important I mean we take I take the position and the
government that there is no value there is no value to anyone in holding back
information from the public we reserve the right to hold back information as it
relates to the confidentiality of patient information as it is the case
with any hospital arrangement none of us wants the world to know what our medical
history our medical conditions are okay without our permission that’s standard
protocol in in medical in in clinical practice so we may have to manage that
we reserve the right to withhold information so as not to create panic
amongst persons who really ought not to feel panicked which is where we are
cautious in terms of where that person went but everything else to my mind is
is should be made public and that’s what we’re trying to do so in answer to your
question as soon as we have the information but we’re treating a matter
as an absolute priority because containment requires efficiency of
execution any other questions again we have we have the tool that you
know and there are two or three others that are being worked on until they are
officially up we’ll just work on them any other yes the same well I think I
think up cough it’s only was a repetition for knowing the news before
the news breaks actually mention what she came here for I don’t know if she
came here for other things I mean people traveled back and forth for all sorts of
reasons but there was an event that she attended the person attended a funeral
prayers not attended a funeral they attended a funeral and I don’t know what
else they may have come for I think it is important for the media to understand
that in this initial phase where we need to make sure that we contact persons and
we need to ensure that we get them to comply with the procedures that we would
put in place it is with regards to that that we are not divulging everything at
this time so as soon as we are able to we do have some information but as soon
as we are able to provide that to you without jeopardizing the public health
investigation that is taking place then we will do so
I want to use the opportunity to acknowledge the head of our team mr.
Richard Thompson who is sitting to my far right your left and also mr. Kevin
Allen who is CEO of the University Hospital of course dr. Bruce with the
chief medical officer at the University of spittle that’s the hospital where the
patient is now in quarantine I really think that’s a isolations our isolation
I really think that maybe the dr. Bruce should just indicate because what we
don’t want is for people to feel they have to avoid the University
Hospital just indicate what the isolation facilities involve and just to
reassure the public that the University Hospital is continuing business as usual
and providing the vital services that it is accustomed to providing dr. Bruce Thank You minister so the University
Hospital Mona has three what we call negative pressure isolation facilities
which are facilities where we can house patients who as you know we consider
were at risk for spreading or transmitting an infection such as this
so we are currently using one of our isolation rooms and that was that
started from yesterday but they the patient is not in contact with the rest
of our patient population and the team that managed the patient has been
trained as such so we’re happy that both a situation for protection of the
patient and the staff and the members of the public has been operationalized and
we’re very happy at this time with those protocols in other words the University
Hospital is open for business it is fully functional and equipped to carry
out its duties and as it relates that this particular patient they are not in
contact with the rest of the population and therefore no one should feel exposed
or overly exposed from attending to services to access services at the
hospital the facilities there I’ve seen there are very good facilities they are
made for this kind of thing coronavirus is not the only infectious disease there
are several others that ever to deal with that you would not have known about
it’s just that this is the topical issue and we’re keeping you informed so do not
I repeat do not feel at the University Hospital
somehow needs to either be picketed or to be avoided because we have this
particular case treaty okay any other will close off if yes sir okay that’s a good question
so yesterday the cabinet of Jamaica led of course by the Honorable Prime
Minister approved a submission that was carried there by myself supported by the
team on either side of me to to allocate approximately 2 billion
Jamaican dollars 1.9 something to bolster the response of the public
health system to support the possibility of containment and case management as
well as to strengthen the border control measures that are in place so a plan was
presented a budget and the cabinet approve that plan and budget so it will
see a number of things expanding certain types of equipment medic medicines training isolation or quarantining and
all the associated activities that are related to that so yes we we have been
out given the budget that we require based on the concern and the capacity to
procure quickly also is one other any other question good afternoon everyone
well the odd Pam is the national disaster coordinator we we spared a very
robust national disaster risk management framework and for public health
emergency of this nature the Ministry of Health is the lead entity but we all
know that anything that can manifest itself into a wider crisis or a disaster
takes greater coordination and a pooling of of major resources so you know from
from from this perspective you’d realize that border control and security plays a
critical role you’re talking about customs and immigration you’re talking
about the possibility as it relates to food security and a number of different
variables you’d have heard a minister often spoke already about some aspect of
the border security measures so because it’s it would take great coordination
outside of the specific health component it requires a greater National Response
process and coming out of the the meeting of the National Disaster Risk
Management Council which is chaired by the most honorable Prime Minister
Antonis he would have already given his charge for for the national framework to
be activated and and to to look at then up kind of preparedness measure but know
given where we are more of a kind of response process so it would requires
require greater sectoral collaboration and greater resources so does the odd
pen as the national disaster coordinator would be that coordinating role with the
Minister of Health mean entity given that history is a public
health emergency thank you all right so ladies and gentlemen I am sure you will
hear from us in the coming days because I know you hear what is happening in
terms of the follow-up activities there are certain decisions that may have to
be taken which we will brief you on so issues our own public gatherings events
that are on the national calendar that some of some of them you asked about
earlier I have already confirmed that in terms
of the Penn Relays the Ministry of Education and the Cabinet through the
cabinet’s instructions of advised schools around not participating in the
Penn Relays this this year we will come in further on boys and girls jumps and
on any other public gathering in the days coming the we think we have this
matter under control in terms of the treatment and the containment of this
individual the areas that we have no control over but we are assessing would
be the period of time that a person showed symptoms but was out in the open
so in this instance when they were transporting being transported to their
ear there the hospital doctor to see the medical team but we have taken note of
that we have done the interrogation we know who to contact we have already made
contact and what we have to do is observe so we are doing the work while
keeping our fingers crossed that this individual is the only affected
individual at this point in time if anything changes as it relates to that
or anything else we will inform you to help us to inform the public I’m going
to close by asking the public through you
and I thank you for the opportunity not to engage in unnecessary or to engage at
all frankly speaking in speculation give me some other words to describe it
rumours rumor mongering hysteria or otherwise the greatest challenge we have
one of the big challenges we have is the the promotion of inaccurate information
because it really promotes panic in our society which is not necessary I’m gonna
ask the media well it is not your duty if you are not the ones sending out
information to correct to the extent that you see information that is not
accurate or you are doubtful about you use the toll-free number and call we
have a media center here but you can use that number to clarify and help us to
correct where that correction is required because we really want everyone
to be on the same page so that there’s no chance of
misinterpretation or actions that become you know counter to what we are actually
trying to do so we thank you again and we will follow up I’m sure in with the
further developments thank you you’ve just seen our live broadcast of a Health
Ministry’s emergency press conference where it was announced that Jamaica now
has the first imported case of kovat 19 Health Minister dr. Christopher Tufton
made the announcement at that just concluded press conference it was at the
Ministry of Health the Prime Minister will also host a press conference
shortly and we will be standing by to take that as soon as it begins a bit of
background the infected person arrived in the island on March 4 and is from the
border of st. Thomas and st. Andrew now we’ll have more details on this
developing story in primetime news at 7:00
and that’s where we put our wrap on the midday news and on this broadcast please
stay with stay tuned present viewing and have a good day


  1. Minister of health says “virus spread when persons are experiencing symptoms” that’s bullshit it has been reported by various countries and medical professionals that the virus spreads in its incubation period which is why you guys isolate people for 14 days and see if they will show symptoms ..unuh need fu state facts when unuh a gi new report to the public and noh make people who already a panic do fuckry 😒

  2. rn we love keep secrets too much till things get out a hand we start spill d beans…Caz a long time Mia hear dat deh story deh

  3. We need to take extra care now amongst ourself & with others!!
    Hygiene is the key, avoid crouded places, handshaking, hugging, Jeep a certain distance & is best to stay at home!!
    In simple life….live normal, do what you have to do outside then return home…..just saying!!

  4. The jamaican government needs to be more proactive in their testing. A lot of people get this infection but remain without symptoms . These persons can then unknowingly go on to infect persons in the community . The second person has symptoms become very ill and is admitted to the hospital. Now person number 2 has never traveled out of the island, so he is not tested for Covid 19 because. He then goes on to infect other patients in the hospital as well as staff and visitors . We need to test not only who have travelled but anyone who has symptoms and their contacts . Learn from the mistakes of the USA and Italy . Change our criteria for testing

  5. I heard it yesterday the virus is now in Jamaica and the person who has it is a british woman. She arrived on the 4th,so this is telling me they are not testing or putting people into quarantine when they arrived into the Island. They need to be honest with us regarding the coronavirus.

  6. KMT. Who believe anything out of China?That man may be charged for breaking the quarantine law? He should be charged.

  7. Screen every body a come in the country and the next thing the workers at the airport need to be check out because they handle the stuff for that lady who got the virus people that was on the plane the taxi driver God have mercy on Jamaica.

  8. What did the Prime Minister say about this?
    WATCH NEXT: PM Speaks on Jamaica’s 1st COVID-19 Case –

  9. This is irresponsible of the MOH to say spread happens after symptoms are shown. She need to correct her statement

  10. This is the walking dead. Just fallow the Chinese see how they protect there people wear your mask don't listen to them saying hand washing is all the need to do in China it was wearing mask and proper disinfecting even there money they disinfect..

  11. Missa tuftan why you so Lie, what you mean the virus only spread when symptoms are showing then the international news is telling lies? Mm

  12. What you are saying if the person on the plane and did not have it when he was on the plane how does he get it in Jamaica and they did not discover hit in Jamaica before that don't look good. Don't sound good

  13. the Jamaica Government is part of the propaganda, tell the people the truth the coronavirus virus is just a common cold it's not deadly, it's a hoax putting fear in the people everyone needs to wake up you dont need the government to teach how to wash your hands its just dumb , where is the vaccine, everything you see on tell lie vision is a hoax no one it dead ,if so where are all theres bodies where are they ,the government can fool people but you can't fool them all the time ,if their virus is this deadly there should be know one left on the planet, Jamaica government come clean and stop fool the masses

  14. Omg the gorvoment not charging for murder and rape but they are going to charge the man from running away from coronavirus 😁😁😁😁

  15. I want to know why didn’t they lock the airport and put in travel restrictions to America and the UK ? Why because this government only cares about money… now we all gonna suffer because of poor leadership

  16. Ed don't understand the seriousness of covid 19, the only thing ed is talking about is tourism growth nothing about citizens of the country

  17. Honestly Jamaica should now mobilized it's JDF and the ministry of health to set up intensive care units in all 14 parish that way Jamaica can care for those who are more at risk

  18. Jamaica moh a joke she said no symptom no spread, do why would you need to back track the person where about if it's not a concern 🤐🤐🤔🤔
    There are tripping over each other

  19. unu need to band every plane every ship every thing Jamaica should be on lockdown like fi real me not even get me ute yet and this thing a come kill offa me yow unu give we back aids and take corona a swear we nuh want it.

  20. You should band the USA cruse ship as well temporary! Our life’s is better than money! The US gov is telling people not to travel on ship so we as Jamaican government should band the ships all together. Jamaica needs to wake up..

  21. These people are not telling the truth about this coronavirus they know that more than one people in Jamaica has the coronavirus they're just hiding it I pray that the Lord will have mercy upon the people of Jamaica amen

  22. What i want to know is how you having a public health crisis worldwide and now in the island and you set up a corona virus advisory team and there are no public health officer on the team. Why are we training to be public health inspectors when we are not utilized efficiently. What Mr Rev Dick and the CEO of Sagicor can do in this Public Health Matter. Get the health officials and stop paying rich people to do jobs they are not competent in doing.

  23. Why you restrict flight from Germany what about England USA you don't think Jamaican citizens here too not infected ? Want to come home you don't had a heart

  24. Shut down all flights that is coming into Jamaica and isolate those patient on one side of the hospitals. Don't listen to ed he's only thinking about one thing and looking at the big picture. Shut down all schools

  25. The Jamaican Government Needs To Start ordering Coronavirus Testing Kits…And Provide Free Face-Masks & Free Coronavirus Testing for Everyone In Jamaica.
    Also The Jamaican Government
    Should Close Every School &
    Cancel Public Events.

  26. Andrew Holiness administration can ban other countries to come to Jamaica who have corona virus,but the bully America cant be ban

  27. Why they are they not stop the ship? Jamaica Gov- is corrupt , It's all about money for them, they do not care about the people, Gov- is selling Jamaica so, why care?

  28. Jamaica government and so health minister is like this. The world seh a storm a come, Jamaica seh a nuh big deal, world seh again a big storm a come, tourist minister seh, chuh, dat a nuh nutn people dem who own di hotel affi mek money, world seh terrible storm a come, government seh nuh watch dat nuh panic ah roomah dem ah spread. Big storm come and wet up everybody, gov seh goh buy umbrella. Get it! Wen di gov seh nuh panic ah time fi panic!

  29. The world health organization and the cdc seh yuh can have the virus and pass it to someone else without you even know you have it because the incubation period is between 14 and 21 days, now this woman saying the virus can only be pass on is if ur showing symptoms, I guess she know more than the cdc and the world health organization!

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