JM | Dec 23, 2020

20 Jamaica-bound UK passengers test positive for coronavirus; others released for home quarantine

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Tests to confirm coronavirus infection are administered nasopharyngeally (through the nose) or via blood sample. (Photo: World Health Organisation)

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has confirmed that 20 persons on the last flight from the United Kingdom, which arrived in Jamaica on two days ago, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday (December 23).

In a statement, the ministry indicated that these persons will be placed in isolation along with four of their contacts and closely monitored until they’ve recovered.

Meanwhile, the 20 positive samples will be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for genetic assesment, in determining if the new strain of the coronavirus is present.

The ministry further noted that only the results of two passengers are pending, as some 267 samples have returned negative. These individuals have been cleared to observe the remainder of a mandated, 14-day quarantine at home.

“These persons will be fitted with armbands and be closely monitored by the parish health team and the Jamaica Constabulary Force,” the government agency explained.

What’s more, the final number of passengers allowed landing priviliges on Monday was corrected to 301, and not 302 as previously reported by the health ministry.

Of the 301 arrivals, five passengers were in-transit travellers, and three were children under the age of 12, who the ministry stated were not tested.

Jamaica announced a two-week ban on flights from the United Kingdom, amid growing fears of the new strain of COVID-19 identified there.

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