Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Jamaica's confirmed COVID-19 cases now at 26

Published:Wednesday | March 25, 2020 | 6:26 PM
Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton today reported that Jamaica recorded one more confirmed COVID-19 case.

This means there are now 26 confirmed cases in the island with one fatality.

Tufton said the most recent patient is the 70-year-old son-in-law of the 79-year-old man who died last week, days after he arrived from New York.

In giving a breakdown, Tufton said of the 150 samples tested, 124 were negative and 26 positive while the results are pending for 18 samples.

Further, 17 people are now in government quarantine, 142 at home and 254 have been released.

Meanwhile, Tufton says the Bull Bay quarantine area in St Andrew will be discontinued on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

READ: Bull Bay under wraps 

The Seven and Eight Miles communities were declared a quarantine area, days after 'Patient 1' was tested positive.

And the health minister says the Government will engage the private sector to outsource some of the services being carried out by health centres in a bid to reduce the number of people who crowd these facilities for medical attention.

This will cost about $350 million.

In the meantime, Tufton says if owners of suitable properties are unwilling to assist, the Government may have to trigger the law and "dictate" having possession of these properties to use as COVID-19 quarantine and isolation facilities.

The government is seeking about 600 rooms.

READ: Jakes steps up to plate as hotels mull quarantine plea

However, Tufton says there would be reasonable compensation if this happens.

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