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Embassy curbed COVID-19 risk with Patient Two

Published:Wednesday | March 18, 2020 | 12:20 AM

In the wake of a United States Embassy employee in Jamaica confirmed as contracting COVID-19 – the pandemic linked to the spread of the novel coronavirus – the Kingston mission said that it has sought to mitigate the spread of the disease.

That person has been dubbed Patient Two.

Staff of the entire consular section where the individual works, and anyone who came in close contact with them were ordered to remain at home and notify the embassy and the Ministry of Health & Wellness immediately if they developed symptoms related to COVID-19, the embassy said in a press statement on Monday.

The embassy said that, within 24 hours of the incident, it had flown in from Washington, DC, a US Department of State decontamination team that sanitised the affected areas of the compound.

“Today, the employee is in good spirits and recovering well. There have been no reports of local transmission via contact to any US Embassy employee. In addition to addressing the embassy case of COVID-19, the US mission in Kingston continues its collaborative efforts with the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) to support its nationwide efforts to respond to the pandemic,” said Ambassador Donald Tapia.

The embassy said that its attending physician, in consultation with other medical experts, conducted assessments of the staff who were ordered to remain at home and determined who would remain on home quarantine. A total of 14 individuals will remain at home until March 24. None have developed symptoms as at Monday, the embassy said.