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Medical Officer of Health for Westmoreland, Dr. Marcia Graham, is imploring citizens to wear face masks properly, to protect themselves against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Masks are to cover the nose and mouth, [because] COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory viruses enter the body through the mouth and nose. When we are testing for COVID-19 we do a swab through the nose and the mouth; we do not swab chins, foreheads or pockets, so masks are not to be worn in public in these areas,” Dr. Graham emphasised.

She was addressing the monthly meeting of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation in Savanna-la-Mar, on June 11.

Dr. Graham further noted that the acceptable social distance is six feet, and if persons are within that distance, it is imperative that they wear their masks.

“If you are more than six feet apart, you can take a mask break in those settings,” she pointed out.

Dr. Graham is also encouraging parents of students who returned to school on June 8 to participate in the CSEC and CAPE refresher programme, to ensure that their children have at least two masks to wear daily as well as a hand sanitiser.

Meanwhile, she noted that there are five cases of COVID-19 in the parish.

“We had a lull after our first two cases… one unfortunately passed away. The last three are imported cases,” she said.

Dr. Graham also noted that up to last Thursday (June 11), the public health department in the parish had been monitoring some 127 persons who had disembarked a number of cruise ships over the past weeks.

She said the department has also been monitoring persons who returned to the country by air.

The Medical Officer is imploring residents not to stigmatise persons who are entering the country.

To date, the island has recorded some 621 cases of COVID-19, with some 449 recoveries. The island’s recovery rate currently stands at 72.3 per cent.

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