The panic and fear surrounding Coronavirus is real. Yesterday, a voice note was circulating about the virus. A man, apparently addressing friends, said that 14 people have the virus in Jamaica, with three having died. It sounded legitimate. I immediately put some questions to the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Here is their response:
1. Up to 8 am on March 4, there were no suspected cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica. As such, no tests were being run.
2. There are no COVID-19 related deaths to be reported.
3. Also up to 8 am on March 4, there were some 30 persons in quarantine. 23 of that number were in government facilities and 7 in home quarantine.
If or when the numbers change, the public will be advised.
The Ministry has issued a press release to this effect, and you can also check out their web site, where the Minister released a statement.
There have been several scares, originating on social media, about the virus. In one of my Whatapp groups, someone posted a story about confirmed cases of the virus in Kingston. A quick google search revealed it was in the U.K. Media illiteracy is certainly contributing to the panic, as is a lack of general information.
In any case, it seems the best prevention is hand-washing. Stay safe.