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  • Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, says Jamaica has recorded its first patient recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
  • The patient, from St. Ann, is currently home after completing two discharge tests, which both came back with negative results within 48 hours.
  • “The Ministry is pleased to advise that patient five from St. Ann, who tested positive for COVID-19, has now recovered and has been released from the hospital. So I think we can celebrate our first fully recovered COVID-19 case,” he said.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, says Jamaica has recorded its first patient recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The patient, from St. Ann, is currently home after completing two discharge tests, which both came back with negative results within 48 hours.

“The Ministry is pleased to advise that patient five from St. Ann, who tested positive for COVID-19, has now recovered and has been released from the hospital. So I think we can celebrate our first fully recovered COVID-19 case,” he said.

Minister Tufton was addressing a virtual press conference from Jamaica House on Monday (March 30), where he also outlined the protocol that is observed in determining the release of persons who have recovered from the virus.

“The individual, having been treated and become asymptomatic, meaning not displaying any other symptoms, would be tested twice within a 48-hour period. If the tests return negative, then the conclusion is the person is fit and ready to be released, and this has been the case with this individual (patient five).

In the meantime, Dr. Tufton is appealing to Jamaicans not to stigmatise persons who have contracted the virus.

“I want to also say on this point, that it is very important that the population accept that COVID-19 is a risk, is a disease, but a disease that can be treated.

“And those persons who have been unfortunate enough to have been affected, once they return to their community with the certification by the medical team that they are now well, that they should be incorporated, reintegrated and not treated, in any way, shape or form, in a discriminatory manner,” he noted.

Jamaica has, so far, recorded 36 cases of COVID-19 with one death.

Minister Tufton said that 51 persons remain in isolation, while 34 are under quarantine in government facilities. Also, 140 Cuban health professionals, who recently came into the island, are in quarantine.

As it relates to the progress of the other COVID-19 patients, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-Mckenzie, informed that three or four are “completely asymptomatic” and have started their testing process.

“The majority of the persons remain fairly stable with just mild symptoms, such as a persistent cough, some dryness in the throat. We do have three persons that we consider to be serious enough that we are monitoring very closely,” she said, noting that one person is on ventilation.

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