Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Father of Patient One denies having COVID-19

Published:Tuesday | March 17, 2020 | 12:14 AMDanae Hyman/Staff Reporter
An eerily empty road welcomed visitors to Goshen in Mocho, Clarendon, yesterday.
An eerily empty road welcomed visitors to Goshen in Mocho, Clarendon, yesterday.

The father of Patient One, the woman who the Ministry of Health tagged the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Jamaica, has denied having the disease, claiming that nurses said that he had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

According to him, his 33-year-old daughter travelled from the United Kingdom for the funeral of Gloria Clarke, a family member, held on what happened to also be his birthday. He said that although he and his daughter shared numerous embraces having not seen each other for the past five years, he is baffled by reports that he contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“Them never come and tell me say me have it. The doctor say them see a little trace, so me say why you advertising it say me have it and them say it’s not them, it’s the media,” Patient One’s father said.

“Me confused, and a that a kill me in here because one come and tell me say me have to stay for the 14 days and she took some blood yesterday and they said it is negative and I am good.”

Patient One was previously called Patient Zero.

As is the protocol with other coronavirus patients, The Gleaner has decided not to name the man.

Further, Patient One’s father said he did not experience symptoms of the virus before he was picked up by health authorities on Wednesday night. Now in isolation, he said that he was not experiencing symptoms.

He said that he was spurred to submit to the health authorities after he learnt in the media that his daughter tested positive – not because he was suffering with symptoms.

“Everybody call and tell me, and me never want take no taxi go hospital. And when me call the police, them say, ‘Stay, stay, the nurse them will come.’ The nurses check me when them come nutten nuh do me, then me pack my bags and go have a shower and then me and them a talk and then me lef with them.

According to him, the only reason he occasionally coughs now while in isolation is because of the extremely very cold air-conditioned space where he is being housed.

In the meantime, a resident of Goshen, Clarendon, who was taken from his home last Thursday to be quarantined at the May Pen Hospital because of suspected coronavirus contraction, said that he was unaware if due diligence was done before releasing him and his family on Sunday.

According to the man, he, along with his spouse and two children, was taken into quarantine because they occupy the same home of Patient One’s father.

“Ambulance come pick up the four a we and bring we go hospital. When we deh deh for the four days, all them do a test me and me girlfriend temperature,” he said.

“Them take my two kids’ blood and it came back negative, so them say from them negative, that mean we negative, too, and release we,” the resident said.

The man, who requested that his identity be disclosed, said that he has not presented with any symptoms of the virus.

Since returning home, he disclosed that he has, however, been facing discrimination even after disclosing to other community members that he tested negative for COVID-19.

Jamaica has recorded 12 confirmed COVID cases.

danae.hyman@gleanerjm.com