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An additional ward has been opened at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James for the treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

Medical Officer of Health for St. James, Dr. Marcia Johnson-Campbell, said that the new ward, which opened earlier this week, has capacity for 24 beds.

In addition, she said that a four-bed isolation unit was recently constructed, and suspected cases are being housed in a section of the Accident and Emergency department.

Dr. Johnson-Campbell was speaking at the monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation held at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, on Thursday (October 8).

Giving an update on the number of confirmed cases in the parish, she informed that 23 new cases of the virus were recorded on Wednesday (October 7), bringing the total to 545 to date.

“Unfortunately, 12 persons have died, but 398 have recovered. We have 135 persons in St. James who are considered active, 20 of whom are admitted in facilities, whether the Cornwall Regional Hospital or our quarantine facilities, and 115 of them are currently in home isolation,” she noted further.

Dr. Johnson-Campbell said that under the current protocols, persons identified as symptomatic are tested. Persons who are asymptomatic will be required to remain in quarantine for a period of 14 days, and no sampling is required.

Those who have tested positive and who have been placed in quarantine or isolation would not be required to do a repeat test.

Meanwhile, Mayor of St. James, Councillor Leeroy Williams, is imploring residents to act responsibly and follow the COVID-19 protocols that have been implemented by the Government in order to minimise the spread of the virus.

“I want to strongly urge the citizens to take every precautionary measure – wash hands as often as possible, sanitise, wear your mask, and maintain social distance. This pandemic is showing over 35 million cases worldwide with over a million deaths, and so, in Jamaica, we are not spared the ravages of this virus,” he noted.

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