LUCEA, Hanover — The medical officer of health for Hanover, Dr Kaushal Singh, says health-care workers in the parish, though stressed, are motivated as they work tirelessly to keep the parish COVID-19-free.
“Just to say that not having a case is a big responsibility. Every day it is like this — today we don’t have a case, and tomorrow we want to keep it like that. This is motivating [us], but also, it is stressing us out,” Dr Singh told yesterday’s regular monthly general meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation.
He said his staff is currently doing a tremendous job in addressing and investigating any form of information received about individuals who might be displaying symptoms similar to that of the coronavirus, whether rumour or not.
Dr Singh added that despite a shortage of staff, the health department’s response time to any matter related to the new coronavirus is usually between 30 minutes to six hours.
According to statistics from the health department’s report presented yesterday, for the March to April period, “112 persons were served home quarantine, seven were tested for suspected contact history, of which all returned a negative test [result] for COVID- 19”.
The Hanover Health Department has been collecting samples at five different health centres across the parish, as well as the Lucea-based Noel Holmes Hospital.
A total of 62 samples were taken from residents in the parish in March and April, and all returned negative results for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Dr Singh is encouraging individuals to observe all guidelines, such as hand hygiene practices and social distancing, noting that a face mask alone cannot protect people from the infectious virus.
He pointed out that while breathing, air is able to escape masks, adding that the virus is able to enter or leave through those points of entry.
Earlier this week, Errol Greene, regional director for the Western Regional Health Authority, assured Hanover residents that individuals who fit the COVID-19 profile will be tested.
“We are not at the stage, as a country, where the 2.6 or 2.7 million of us can be tested at one time… But, certainly for those who fit that profile to be tested, if there is any in Hanover, they will be tested,” said Greene.
As at yesterday morning, Jamaica had 509 confirmed cases of the disease, with nine deaths and 113 recoveries.
Of this number, the western health region, which encompasses the parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland, accounted for 11 of the cases.
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