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Story Highlights

  • The St. Ann Health Department has embarked on a public education campaign to heighten awareness about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Acting Medical Officer of Health for the parish, Dr. Tamika Henry, made the disclosure at the launch of a dengue response programme at the Ocean Village Shopping Centre in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on February 14.
  • She said that while there is no immediate threat to the island, the parish is doing whatever is necessary to guard against the infectious disease.

The St. Ann Health Department has embarked on a public education campaign to heighten awareness about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Acting Medical Officer of Health for the parish, Dr. Tamika Henry, made the disclosure at the launch of a dengue response programme at the Ocean Village Shopping Centre in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on February 14.

She said that while there is no immediate threat to the island, the parish is doing whatever is necessary to guard against the infectious disease.

“What we have been doing is increasing our sensitisation at both the primary and secondary care levels. We have been increasing our personal protective equipment and we have set up some signs about the benefits of hand washing,” she indicated.

The Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC) building at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital is the designated isolation facility for the parish.

Dr. Henry said that areas have been identified at type three and five health centres to accommodate persons who may turn up at these facilities with symptoms.

“If somebody should come in exhibiting any signs or symptoms, we have areas where we can keep those persons until we can transfer them to the hospital,” she noted.

Dr. Henry is urging members of the public to practise proper hygiene to safeguard against respiratory infections such as the coronavirus.

“There is no cure for the coronavirus, so prevention is better than cure, and what we have been advocating [for] is overall personal hygiene, such as frequent washing of hands with soap and water. That’s the main way to prevent respiratory conditions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Michael Belnavis, said the Municipal Corporation is working with the St. Ann Health Department to ensure that the parish is in a-state-of-readiness to handle any incident.

Mr. Belnavis, who is also Chairman of the National Cruise Council, said that cruise ships with “health issues on board” will be denied entry to the port.

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