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    • Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is imploring Jamaicans not to discriminate against persons who may be infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), as they could be the next victim of the contagious disease.
    • “None of us are immune to the virus. None of us must claim or think that we will exclusively escape and it is somebody else’s fault. We must treat each other in a way that almost assumes that tomorrow we are going to need the support from those who are so infected and impacted today. We really need to cut the hate and work together as a country and as communities, to overcome,” he said, while addressing a digital press conference on Wednesday (April 22).
    • The Minister’s plea comes against the background of numerous reports of persons being taunted, threatened and shunned after persons learnt they contracted the virus.

    Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is imploring Jamaicans not to discriminate against persons who may be infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), as they could be the next victim of the contagious disease.

    “None of us are immune to the virus. None of us must claim or think that we will exclusively escape and it is somebody else’s fault. We must treat each other in a way that almost assumes that tomorrow we are going to need the support from those who are so infected and impacted today. We really need to cut the hate and work together as a country and as communities, to overcome,” he said, while addressing a digital press conference on Wednesday (April 22).

    The Minister’s plea comes against the background of numerous reports of persons being taunted, threatened and shunned after persons learnt they contracted the virus.

    “I really do not want to hear about any case of persons threatening people, and abusing persons because they hear that they have the virus. We ask Jamaicans, please don’t assume that persons who have the virus have brought it in, have created it, are somehow cursed, have somehow sinned, have somehow deserved it, are somehow bringing a plague on your community or your household,” he said.

    Dr. Tufton argued that based on the projections, based on what happens in other countries, most Jamaicans will be exposed at some point to the virus.

    Before COVID-19 hit Jamaica, local health authorities had predicted that approximately 2.6 million citizens could be afflicted by the virus.

    “The country needs to appreciate that, over time, the virus is going to move across the country and you’re going to have more persons getting the virus. It is not an indication of failure on the part of the public health officials, on the part of the Government, on the part of the country – it’s just the way it works. The virus is highly contagious, very easy to pick up,” Dr. Tufton said.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can contract COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus.

    These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person, such as tables, doorknobs and handrails. People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

    The Ministry of Health and Wellness recommends that persons practise proper hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap and running water or using a sanitiser, and observe social distancing by staying six feet away from others when in public.

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