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    Madam Speaker, I rise to update this honourable house and the people of Jamaica, on the recent developments surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on residential institutions, namely nursing homes, infirmaries and prisons, which house some of the vulnerable members of our society.

    Madam Speaker, as early as January 2020, the public health team began to develop protocols that would help to delay the entry of the virus into the country, contain its spread and slow the transmission among the population.

    To date, the team has developed some 50 protocols to govern this public health challenge.

    Chief on our radar, Madam Speaker, would be the protection of the vulnerable members of the society, which includes our seniors, many of whom are in facility care run by the state and private interests. To this end,

    the public health team has included as part of its routine surveillance, the inspection of nursing homes, prisons and infirmaries.

    Madam speaker, as the country may be aware, recently three such facilities, through our routine surveillance had been found to have had COVID-19 cases.

    Golden Age Home
    Madam Speaker, emergency management protocols had to be triggered at the Golden Age Home in St. Andrew, after an investigation, involving contact tracing, testing and inspection by the public health team, a cluster of cases was uncovered.

    Madam Speaker, of the 620 residents and staff members tested over a three day period, 87 results had returned positive for COVID-19, while 533 were negative. The 87 positive cases included 65 residents and 22 staff members.

    To date, Madam Speaker, all the cases remain stable and asymptomatic.

    Regrettably, Madam Speaker, the first case demised last week and we express our condolences to the family and close friends of the deceased.

    On the other hand, Madam Speaker, we are pleased to report that 43 of the 87 positive cases at the Golden Age Home have recovered from COVID19.

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