Dr Aneesha Gopaul

battle gear: Primary care physician Dr Aneesha Gopaul displays safety and protective gear to be used by doctors in case of an outbreak of COVID-19 or any other dangerous disease at the Ministry of Health’s offices in Port of Spain on Wednesday. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

Jamaica is confirming its first case of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

It’s an imported case, said Jamaica’s health authorities during a press conference in Kingston, Jamaica this afternoon.

The patient, a female who holds dual citizenship and travelled from the United Kingdom, returning to Jamaica on March 4, was screened, as all passengers were, on arrival at the airport.

However, the UK was not on the list of countries considered high risk.

The person, who came to Jamaica to attend a funeral, did not have symptoms until days later, went to see their doctor, which led to the diagnosis, test and confirmation.

Jamaicans were told that there were no guarantees regarding the spread of the virus and the only way to prevent an imported case was to shut down the island to the rest of the world. "But we can't do that," said Jamaica's Health Minister Christopher Tufton. "We can't shut Jamaicans out of Jamaica."

As part of the investigation into the COVID-19 patient, reporters were told that there would be a probe into the movements and home situation of the person.

Investigators would determine what events the person had attended, and if the risk was confined to a home, a community or several communities.

Based on that finding, people would be identified and quarantined.

The COVID-19 person, described as stable with mild symptoms, was identified as being located on the border of St Thomas and St Andrew.

The virus was not a death sentence, citizens were told, and the vast majority of Jamaicans who may become infected, will recover.

People are being urged not to panic, and not to discriminate against those affected with the virus.

Jamaicans are being urged against non essential travel.

The COVID-19 patient is in isolation at the University Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica.

Jamaicans were also advised not to shun the hospital since it was safe.


The global battle for vaccines may cause major delays for small nations like Trinidad and Tobago in getting their populations inoculated.

While Government officials are hesitant to admit it, this country’s first shipment under the COVAX arrangement could be in ­trouble, given the worldwide scenario.

“Nothing has changed. We are still waiting for justice.”

This in essence is how residents feel eight months after they were promised action when they protested the police killings of three men as well as other social and economic issues.

In June 2020 when protests erupted in Port of Spain and environs following the police killings of three men in Morvant, the Morvant community and the surrounding areas of Beetham Gardens, Sea Lots, John John and other areas in East Port of Spain found themselves under the national spotlight.

For days, protesters held the country’s attention as they called for justice for Joel Jacob, Noel Diamond and Israel Moses Clinton who were shot and killed by police on June 27.

Protests alone do not bring about lasting change, says Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds.

He, however, noted there has indeed been peace in the communities since the protests.

“Change comes from thinking and planning and changes in behaviours and attitudes and approaches by all stakeholders—Government, NGOs, places of worship, families, communities, individuals, etc. So protests don’t change anything, it is work and action and shifts in attitudes and cultures,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Express yesterday.

“What are they telling me about International Women’s Day when daily women are suffering. I see images of suffering every day. I am not celebrating any International Women’s Day.”

So said self-employed Arima resi­dent Shelly-Ann Arthur last Thursday as the world preps to observe International Women’s Day (IWD) tomorrow.

The Sunday Express interviewed several women on the Brian Lara Promenade last week to get their views on IWD.