Saturday 24 October, 2020

WRHA concerned about number of active COVID-19 cases in St James

Regional Technical Director of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Dr Diane Campbell-Stennett, is expressing concern about the number of active coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in some areas of the parish of St James.

Campbell-Stennett, speaking at a Ministry of Health and Wellness virtual press conference from the S Hotel in Montego Bay, St James on Thursday, said St James is the hotspot for the COVID-19 cases of the four parishes which fall within the ambit of the WRHA.

According to Campbell-Stennett, Green Pond, Salt Spring, Glendevon and Bogue, up to Tuesday, October 6, had between 11 and 16 active cases of COVID-19, with St James overall, also having a sustained increase in the number of active cases being recorded.

She said St James’ figures are unlike those for Hanover, Trelawny and Westmoreland, the other parishes within the ambit of the WRHA. The trend in those parishes, Campbell-Stennett said, is similar to that of the rest of the island, with a slight increase over recent weeks, as well as a dip in the case curve.

Campbell-Stennett said Hanover, Trelawny and Westmoreland have smaller of pockets of active cases, which is about one to four cases, with a wide geographic distribution across each of the parishes.

Meanwhile, Campbell-Stennett said the region has had 829 confirmed cases up to Tuesday, October 6, with 183 active cases, 47 cases repatriated, and 15 confirmed deaths. Seven other deaths are being investigated.

Hanover has recorded 73 cases so far, St James 529, Trelawny 88, and Westmoreland 139. The number of persons who have been quarantined is 317 in Hanover, 5,160 in St James, 441 in Trelawny, and 654 in Westmoreland.

So far in the region, the number of men (47 per cent) who have contracted the virus are slightly less than the women (53 per cent), while the age group 20-39 years has the most cases, with 205.

A breakdown of the parishes shows that in Westmoreland, the infection of men is slightly higher than that of the women, with 51 and 49 per cent, respectively, while St James has 51 per cent of infected cases being women, and 49 per cent being men. The age group with the most infection in these parishes are 20-49 years.

Trelawny and Hanover, however, show a slightly different statistic, with Trelawny having 63 per cent women and 37 per cent men being infected, and Hanover having 59 per cent women and 41 per cent men with the virus. The age group for Trelawny with the most infection is 30-39 years, and that of Hanover is 50-59 years.

Campbell-Stennett also stated that the region has increased the complement of medical individuals and hospital beds in anticipation of the surge in cases, with the island currently at the community spread phase of the virus.

Under the Jamaica/Cuba bilateral agreement, WRHA added 61 nurses and 30 medical doctors, while the Government of Jamaica, with the allocation four additional resources to contain COVID-19, provided 27 medical doctors and 219 community health aides.

Cornwall Regional Hospital, according to Campbell-Stennett, currently has a bed capacity of 367, with 38 designated specifically for COVID-19 isolation, which includes four high-dependency units.

The Savanna-la-mar Public General Hospital has 218 beds, of which 18 are for COVID-19 isolation, while the Falmouth Public General Hospital has 100 beds, with seven for isolation.

The Noel Holmes Hospital, which currently has 60 beds with two for isolation, has the capacity for 10 additional beds.

According to Campbell-Stennett, WRHA has also formed a partnership with private institutions in the region to facilitate quarantine and step-down isolation to assist with COVID-19 treatment.

The western region has 3,815 healthcare workers, with 80 health centres and four hospitals, of which there is one Type-A hospital.

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