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Jamaica Minister assures Vineyard Town ‘no risk’ as location of Coronavirus quarantine centre

#KINGSTON, February 13, 2020 (JIS): Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is assuring residents of Vineyard Town that they are at no health risk if the St. Joseph’s Hospital is used as a quarantine centre.

            Speaking at a town hall meeting on February 11, in the community, the Minister said the hospital will only house persons who display “elevated temperature” for 14 days, and if their conditions worsen during the period, they will be taken to other health facilities for treatment.

            “On day 10 of the 14 days, we immediately move that person to a hospital isolation room. St. Joseph’s is not an isolation centre, so it is putting people there who look very healthy, but we just want to make sure that they stay healthy for 14 days,” the Minister pointed out.

            The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that where the elevated temperature is detected, persons should be quarantined for 14 days.

            Dr. Tufton told the meeting that “there is no risk involved in the community”, and he is fully satisfied with all the protocols being followed by the medical teams in Jamaica.

            “I am very comfortable with the protocols that we are following. Quarantine does not mean a risk to the community,” Dr.  Tufton emphasised.

            The Minister also told the residents that none of the services that the St. Joseph’s Hospital offers will be removed, and he has asked personnel at his Ministry to relocate the clinic from the hospital to a building in the community “until we sort things out”.

            The Ministry of Health and Wellness advises that standard recommendations to reduce exposure to, and transmission of a range of illnesses, such as the coronavirus, include maintaining basic hand and respiratory hygiene, safe food practices and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.  

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