Persons who travel to and from China encouraged to get assessed

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, is encouraging persons who travelled to and from the People’s Republic of China within the last four weeks to make themselves available for assessments, to determine whether they have been exposed to the Coronavirus.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton (second right), speaks at Tuesday’s (January 28) media briefing at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston. Listening (from left) are Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Jamaica Country Representative, Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi; Chief of Medical Staff, University Hospital of the West Indies, Dr Carl Bruce; and Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Karen Webster Kerr. (Photo: Michael Sloley/BUZZ)

“The Ministry has begun a process to track those individuals and we would ask those individuals, if they are not contacted, to make themselves available, either to their private physician or the public health system,” he said.

Dr Tufton was addressing journalists at a media briefing at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston on Tuesday (January 28).

The advisory follows a report of one suspected case of the virus surfacing at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), which was dispelled by Dr Tufton and the UHWI’s Chief of Medical Staff, Dr Carl Bruce, who also spoke at the briefing.

UHWI’s Chief of Medical Staff, Dr Carl Bruce (centre) addresses journalists at an emergency media briefing. (Photo: Tashna-Toya Edwards/BUZZ)

Dr Bruce indicated that the patient, who was referred to the UHWI from another institution for a respiratory ailment after returning from China on January 14, did not exhibit symptoms of the Coronavirus, which includes a fever exceeding 30 degrees Celsius.

He pointed out that assessment of the individual was done by the UHWI “out of an abundance of caution”.

“The patient is doing well. The University Hospital will continue to do the requisite evaluation and testing and will discharge the patient home, as per our usual protocol, as soon as all of those tests and evaluations are completed,” Dr Bruce indicated.

Meanwhile, Dr Tufton advised that the Government has issued advisory curtailing travel to and from China for the time being, until the spread of the disease is stemmed.