Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Isolated patient tests negative for novel coronavirus

(Photo: istock)

(Photo: istock)

A patient who had been placed in isolation as a precaution against the novel Coronavirus (COVID19), has tested negative for the disease, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised.

In a news release Thursday, the ministry said the results for the patient - the first of three who had been placed in isolation - were received on Wednesday, February 12 from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to the health ministry, the patient had arrived in Jamaica on January 30 after travelling to China, and was later isolated for further investigation after being admitted to the Annotto Bay Hospital with flu-like symptoms.

“The patient will now be discharged,” the health ministry said.

In the meantime, the ministry said it is now awaiting results of samples from the second and third isolated patients.

The second patient was isolated after an elevated temperature was detected while the person was being monitored in a government quarantine facility.

“A sample has been taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing,’” the health ministry stated.

In the meantime, the ministry announced that a third Jamaican was put in isolation following arrival into the island at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James. 

"The traveler arrived on Tuesday, February 11 and underwent the relevant protocols in keeping with the current travel restrictions. The Jamaican, who had traveled from China was discovered to have had a fever and was immediately isolated," the ministry said.

"The next steps for this patient will include management of the fever and any other symptoms that develop. A sample has already been sent to the CARPHA, where it will be tested for the novel coronavirus, (COVID 19). We expect a 48-hour turnaround time for the results once the sample is received,” Dr Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer, was quoted as saying in the release.

The ministry said it wishes to remind the public that the quarantine and isolation procedures are in place to detect and investigate early, all persons who may have been exposed to the virus. The ministry further advised that infection prevention precautions such as frequent hand washing; coughing and sneezing in tissue and discarding it, as well as, avoiding contact with ill persons must be practiced by all.

“Persons who are having flu-like symptoms must stay away from other persons to prevent spread of the infection,” the health ministry said.

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