KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 15, 2020 (CMC) – Jamaica has recorded its fifth coronavirus death, a 63-year-old woman, from the eastern parish of Portland.
The announcement was made, yesterday, shortly after the Health Ministry reported 32 additional COVID-19 cases, in 24 hours, pushing the tally to 105, since March 10, when the first case was confirmed.
Of the 32 additional cases, 31 are from the central parish of St. Catherine and one from the Corporate Area in Kingston.
The Health Ministry says all are linked to a call centre in St. Catherine.
Meanwhile, a week-long lockdown has been implemented in the central parish.
Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, in announcing the lockdown, said the police and health authorities have been instructed, to launch an investigation into the circumstances, under which the outbreak at the call centre occurred, and to pursue charges where appropriate.
The lockdown started at 5:00 am (local time) this morning and will end next week Wednesday.
During the lockdown, all residents are required to stay at home, during the period. Residents are now restricted to set days and hours, to go about purchasing their essentials.
Individuals, 65 years and older, pregnant women, and the disabled, will be allowed to get their essentials, of food and medication, between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 am, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
All other residents are allowed to get their essentials during specific periods, on those two days, according to their surnames.
People, whose surnames start with the letters A to M, will be allowed to leave their homes to purchase essentials, between 10:00 am and 1:30 pm; while surnames, from N to Z, are allowed to leave home for essentials, from 1:30 pm to 5:00pm.
All persons must carry identification, and are advised to limit trips, to one person per household.
In addition, the police will be manning entry and exit points to St Catherine, and will be armed with forehead thermometers.
Members of the essential services will only be allowed out of the parish, if their temperature is normal, if they are wearing a mask, have identification and do not have any flu-like symptoms. Temperatures will also be checked, upon re-entry to the parish.
“We have always known and, indeed, we have said, that as we progressed through the epidemic that there would be an increase in numbers — and even a spike,” the Prime Minister said.
“We have done, fairly well. We have lasted about 33 days in a linear scale. We have put in place, measures, which, by and large, the country has followed. We could say that the majority of Jamaicans were faithful, in abiding by the tighter curfew hours, imposed during the Easter period,” he added.