Thu | Jul 2, 2020

Hanoverians reject COVID-19 patient, saying he’s from Portland

Published:Tuesday | May 26, 2020 | 12:21 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer

RESIDENTS OF Hanover are taking to social media and other platforms to chastise the Government for crediting the parish with one case of COVID-19 after a male cruise ship worker from the Adventure of the Seas, which docked in Falmouth, Trelawny, last week, tested positive for the virus.

Having prided themselves on being the only parish with no cases for more than two months, stakeholders in Hanover have criticised the attribution system as flawed.

“I don’t know how they go about doing their assessment of COVID-19, but whatever method they use, in this case, it is incorrect,” said Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels, who is also the chairman of the Hanover Municipal Corporation.

Samuels said that local health authorities had confirmed that the infected man was indeed a Portlander who has opted to stay with his child’s mother in Hanover.

Hanoverians have been pulling out all the stops to keep the parish free of the virus through robust observation of the various health and safety protocols, as well as quirky community sanitisation stations.

“The fact that we have been working so hard to keep Hanover COVID-19-free, and a person from somewhere else in the world came to Jamaica and tested positive and they are now giving him to Hanover ... is not right, it is not fair, and it is really unfortunate,” added Samuels.

The mayor said that he had tested the pulse of the parish and residents had been expressing outrage.

“They are prepared to go public with their discontent, possibly with a protest demonstration.

“I am calling on the authority to review that situation and retract this misinformation,” said Samuels.

Dr Kaushal Singh, medical officer of health for Hanover, told The Gleaner that he was given a Hanover address for the individual in question but was awaiting his release from quarantine in St Ann to speak with him.

“I have also heard that the patient his from the parish of Portland and only resides in Hanover with a girlfriend,” Singh said.

“We are not the policymakers and I have been told that when a person is found to have coronavirus, the parish where he is from will have to take that case. I am not going to say I am in agreement, but, as I said, we are not the policymakers,” added Singh.

Dr David Stair, custos of Hanover, is also displeased that the parish no longer has its enviable record.

“I am not sure that is accurate, and let me tell you something, it is doing Hanover a great disservice,” said Stair.

The Ministry of Health & Wellness Tracking Chart Shows that Jamaica has 556 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 238 recoveries.