Thu | Jun 24, 2021

85 per cent COVID-19 recovery rate in St Ann, despite being a hotspot

Published:Sunday | January 17, 2021 | 12:16 AMCarl Gilchrist - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Dr Tameka Henry, medical officer of health for St Ann.
Dr Tameka Henry, medical officer of health for St Ann.

Efforts are being ramped up to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Efforts are being ramped up to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
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Despite being declared as one of the current hotspots for COVID-19 transmissions in the island, the parish of St Ann has a recovery rate that is higher than the national trend.

Noting that the recovery rate for St Ann is over 85 per cent, medical officer of health for the parish, Dr Tamika Henry, said, nevertheless, they are ramping up efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus and are urging the councillors at the St Ann Municipal Corporation to join the fight.

Dr Henry said, up to January 13, St Ann recorded over 870 cases of the coronavirus, with over 750 persons recovering so far, with 65 active cases.

“We have a recovery rate of over 85 per cent, because we’ve had over 750 persons who have recovered so far; 18 of our positive cases have repatriated. For active cases, currently we have 65. Active cases mean they are within their 14-day isolation period,” Dr Henry noted.

Nationally, up to Friday, there have been 14,096 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 11,674 persons having recovered, at a rate of 83 per cent. There are 1,936 active cases and 323 deaths.

For the month of December 2020, there were 233 confirmed cases in St Ann, which has caused an alarm, because, for the previous nine months, from March to November, there was an average of 70 cases per month.

Over 55 per cent of the January cases are epidemiologically linked, which means, when a person is infected, a trace can be made to the person who passed on the infection.

“All of our health districts have been affected, with St Ann’s Bay accounting for about 40 per cent of our cases; followed by Ocho Rios health district, which accounts for approximately 25 per cent of our cases. The least affected is our Claremont health district, and we really hope that these (low) figures will be maintained,” said Dr Henry.

AREAS OF CONCERN

The health districts and the communities that are of concern to the St Ann Health Department are listed as follows:

Alexandria health district, areas of concern include Blackstonedge and Linton Park; Brown’s Town health district – Endeavour, Ebenezer, Bamboo, St D’Acre, and Wilberforce; Ocho Rios health district – Exchange, Snow Hill, Parry Town, Walkerswood, and Colegate; St Ann’s Bay health district – Farm Town and Folly in Discovery Bay, Scarlett Hall and Salem in Runaway Bay, Priory, Lime Hall, Drax Hall, and Mammee Bay; and for Claremont health district – Orange Park, Golden Grove, and Ramble.

“I took the time to name those communities because I am seeking the assistance of our councillors,” Dr Henry told Thursday’s monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation.

Councillors were asked to liaise with community members and suggest dates when the health team may visit.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in St Ann came about not just from the staging of unauthorised events and other gatherings, but also the failure by workers to follow established protocols at the workplace, Dr Henry suggested.

NOT FOLLOWING PROTOCOLS

“Even though protocols are in place at those facilities, persons are not following these protocols. This is a big problem that we are facing in St Ann. People are very, very non-adhering to protocols,” she stated.

To support that, 66 per cent of the cases are among the working-age population of 25 to 64 years old.

The St Ann Health Department has been doing health education and intervention sessions across the parish to combat the spread of the virus.

Between November 23 and January 9, twenty-five community interventions and six township interventions were done, which included interacting with over 4,000 persons, sharing over 7,000 bits of information, education and communication material, and conducting free COVID-19 samplings.

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