Jamaica confirms first COVID-19 death

The 79-year-old man's travel history included New York

COVID-19: The deceased was one of two people who tested positive in the country over the last two days

JAMAICA HAS confirmed its first COVID-19 death.

A 79-year-old man from Clarendon died after contracting the virus, the government announced yesterday.

The man was known to have diabetes and hypertension.

The government also revealed that the man had travelled to New York where there are at least 1,871 cases of COVID-19.

The Jamaican national was one of two patients who tested positive for the virus in the 24 hours before the government’s statement.

He arrived at the Lionel Town hospital on March 16 with a fever, cough and shortness of breath – three major symptoms of the coronavirus.

Medical staff transferred him to the Mandeville Public General hospital where he was isolated and treated but showed no signs of improvement.

He died as he was being transferred from the Mandeville Hospital to the University Hospital of the West Indies.

In a press conference held on Wednesday (March 18), Dunstan Bryan, permanent secretary in the ministry of health and wellness, said: “It is on a sad note that we announce our first death from COVID-19.”

He also confirmed that the Caribbean island now has 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Jamaica has imposed travel restrictions on the UK as part of its efforts to limit the number of imported cases after its first two cases

Five new buses have been purchased to transport nurses to work.

“I know five is not enough for the entire country, but it is certainly a good start. We will also be talking to the management of the hospitals to see what other arrangements can be made,” Christopher Tufton, minister of health and wellness said.

The action was taken after nurses reported some taxi drivers refused to transport them because they were afraid of catching COVID-19.

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