BREAKING: Three St Mary communities placed on immediate quarantine

Highlighted in red, St Mary, sections of which are now under quarantine, sits on Jamaica’s north coast and is bordered by St Catherine, St Ann, St Andrew and Portland. (Photo: Wikipedia)

The communities of Dover, Enfield and Annotto Bay in St Mary have been placed under quarantine by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) on Thursday morning, May 7.

The quarantine will last an initial period of 14 days, from 6:00 am Thursday, May 7 to 6:00 am Thursday, May 21.

The ministry, in a statement, said that 13 persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its investigations show considerable movement within these communities of those affected, which greatly increases the risk of further spread.

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with the National Emergency Operation Centre at the ODPEM has reviewed the situation in St Mary. In consultation with the local health authority NERHA, the quarantining of areas of the parish of St Mary comprising Dover, Enfield, and Annotto Bay for fourteen days will effect on Thursday, May 7 to Thursday, May 21,” the ministry disclosed.

“Exposed persons in the communities may develop infection and cause spread to other members resulting in a rapid increase in the number of positive cases. This is due to the high movement of persons within the affected households within the communities; the high population density of two of the communities identified and the high vulnerability of persons to severe illness due to age, comorbidities and other socio-economic factors,” the statement continued.

The ministry, at the frontline of the national response to COVID-19, further explained that the quarantine is aimed at restricting movement as much as possible to curtail the spread of the disease.

Bull Bay was the first community declared with an all-encompassing quarantine in mid-March, followed by a parish-wide lockdown of St Catherine in April.

With five new cases confirmed on Wednesday, May 6, Jamaica has 478 instances of COVID-19. A total of 412 cases are active, with nine patients dying from coronavirus-related complications. The island has reported 57 recoveries to date.

More details later.