Wednesday 25 November, 2020

J’cans arriving from US account for majority of imported COVID cases

Dr Christopher Tufton (file photo)

Dr Christopher Tufton (file photo)

Thirty-four cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in persons who came into the island between June 1 and June 16, with the majority arriving from the United States, according to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.

A breakdown of the cases showed that 27 came out of the United States, four from Canada and three from the United Kingdom. Tufton gave the update on Thursday during a digital press briefing from the ministry’s New Kingston offices.

A further breakdown of the numbers from the United States showed that 15 of the cases were among persons who travelled from New York State, which is home to thousands of Jamaicans. Nine cases came out of Florida, another US state which is also home to a significant Jamaican population. The states of Texas, Arizona and North Carolina had one case each.

Tufton was quick to point out that the vast majority of Jamaicans who returned home during the period arrived from the US, which is seeing a sharp increase in infections in some states, particularly in the south and south west of the country.

Previously, New York was the epicentre of the outbreak in the United States.

The health minister said three of the 12 new cases of COVID-19 that were announced on Thursday, and which pushed the number of confirmed cases in Jamaica to 638, were contacts of an imported case. The individual who infected three members of his/her family had arrived from the United States and was told to quarantine at home.

Tufton said the test results came back within 48 hours, but by that time, three members of the household had contracted the virus, including the individual’s mother who the minister said is among the group of persons most vulnerable to the health challenges that are presented by the coronavirus.

The Government has repeatedly indicated that with the opening up of the Jamaican borders, the number of cases of the virus will likely rise significantly.

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