Tue | Aug 4, 2020

‘Quite unfortunate’…NAJ president reacts to infirmary worker contracting COVID-19

Published:Tuesday | May 26, 2020 | 5:19 PM
Nurses Association of Jamaica President Carmen Johnson - File photo

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

“Quite unfortunate” is how Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) President Carmen Johnson has described news that a worker at the St Ann Infirmary has tested positive for COVID-19.

The male worker is in his early 20s. 

News of the positive test emerged Tuesday, sending the institution into a spin.

Health sources have indicated that no one else at the infirmary, located in Priory, just outside the capital of St Ann’s Bay, has tested positive for the virus.

In January, there were 108 residents at the infirmary.

Johnson, who completes her term as president later this year, spent several years at the nearby St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital and would have been familiar with the situation at the infirmary.

“We were hoping we could have kept it out of our infirmaries for a little longer because the concern was, as our borders and the economy reopened, we know that persons would be moving around and so the risk of it moving around also increases. Our hope is that it would have been delayed a little longer, away from our vulnerable populace,” Johnson told The Gleaner.

“We work in a country where we move about and COVID itself sometimes doesn’t show itself in an obvious manner so persons wouldn’t recognise that they have contracted it and so it’s one of those unfortunate things,” she added.

Johnson says it is important that the authorities move to undertake testing and sanitisation in order to minimise health risks at the institution.

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