Tue | Apr 7, 2020

CRH quarantine free of coronavirus – authorities

Published:Tuesday | February 25, 2020 | 12:24 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Officials at the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) are dismissing reports of two suspected cases of COVID-19 infection being under quarantine at the Montego Bay-based hospital’s accident and emergency ward, ahead of the release of concrete test results.

The Gleaner had received reports indicating that two cases of the deadly disease, of which more than 79,000 infections and 2,600 deaths have been recorded worldwide to date, had been placed in quarantine at the Type A hospital since Sunday.

However, WRHA Regional Director Errol Greene told The Gleaner yesterday that while some persons had complained of illness and subsequently underwent testing at the hospital, preliminary assessments ahead of the official results have ruled out COVID-19 as the cause.

“We have no suspected cases of the coronavirus, although we have some people who passed through our system that were not feeling well. From what I understand, they (health officials) have ruled out coronavirus, but they’re waiting on the test result, for which they should get the result today (Monday) and by tomorrow (Tuesday) we can have a concrete result,” Greene said in a brief statement.

Dr Delroy Fray, the CRH’s clinical coordinator, was much more strident in declaring that the Type A hospital had recorded no suspected coronavirus cases under quarantine at the facility.

“There is no such case here, and I’m the clinical director, and no case has been reported to me. I have been asking, but we don’t have any,” said Fray.

The Gleaner reported last Tuesday that seven persons in Jamaica currently remain in quarantine for the disease, but none had been placed in isolation. At that time, the local health authorities gave assurance that Jamaica was in a position to conduct tests for the novel coronavirus, despite concerns in the United States about the reliability of the current testing regime.

Last month, WRHA Regional Technical Director Dr Marcia Johnson-Campbell said that the standard screening processes at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay would be present for COVID-19 as had been present for Ebola, yellow fever, and malaria. It was also reported that the CRH’s staff were being trained in how to handle potential novel coronavirus cases.