By urging Jamaicans not to panic in light of the island registering its first case of Monkeypox, Health and Welfare Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton that he doesn’t envision the island returning to lockdowns to contain the virus locally.
Tufton even expresses confidence that health authorities are able to treat and monitor the virus, due to its relatively mild nature.
“I am convinced that given the nature of the virus, (and) given the nature of the virus worldwide, so far, discovering one case will not cause or cause a crisis,” he said during the ministry’s virtual emergency press briefing on Wednesday. . †
Tufton said there was always the possibility that the country would register a case of Monkeypox as its borders opened and other countries continued to register cases of the virus.
“That said, we believe we have the capacity to respond and, especially, if Jamaicans play their part. And so I don’t envision the kind of response to the novel coronavirus when it came on board on March 10, 2020,” he claimed.
“I believe we can face this current threat, and if we play our part, we can manage it in a way that allows us to continue our normal existence, whether in-game or not.
“I would like to say to Jamaicans just play your part. God knows the country can’t deal with one more extremity. We’ve had a lot of side effects from the COVID-19 pandemic so far. So we’re not just going to pray and ask God for guidance, but we’re going to work to make sure that we and the role we play benefit from that kind of guidance,” Tufton said.
To this end, the minister reiterated that Jamaicans have no reason to panic.
“This is not a cause for alarm. There is no reason to be insecure or afraid. We have informed you as soon as we have confirmation so that you are aware, and I think we have a duty to inform you set,” he said.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has been informed of the health development, but in the meantime the country remains open for business, according to Tufton.
“It is business as usual in terms of the functioning of the economy. The Honorable Prime Minister and I have spoken, and he is ready and always able to provide the leadership and guidance needed,” Tufton said, adding that the cabinet also informed about the development.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, that the disease is milder than “what we are used to and what we are looking for around the world so far”.
dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie (file photo)
By emphasizing that individuals should protect themselves by wearing a mask, keeping physical distance and covering up any rashes, the CMO said public awareness and awareness will increase.
The patient who tested positive for Monkeypox locally is a man who recently traveled from the UK. He presented himself to public health on July 5, having arrived on the island about five days earlier.
Bisasor-McKenzie said the man is from Clarendon but there is no risk to the communities there as all of the positive person’s close contacts are currently in quarantine.
Like Tufton, the CMO said there is no need to panic given Monkeypox’s local presence.
“This is the reason not to panic; we do not foresee any risk. Our persons are on the ground as usual. We are very good at tracing contacts, we will expose the cases and we will do our job to maximize the opportunity.” to minimize its spread to the population,” she outlined.
“This is a mild disease and it requires very close contact for transmission. Those are other reasons people should not panic. When you get sick, this is something you can see, and therefore you are immediately spurred into action in terms from isolating yourself,” Bisasor-McKenzie pointed out.
Early in her response, Tufton warned, “Panic leads to chaos…and we’re not promoting chaos.
“We are promoting responsible behavior in light of the new development,” he said, urging individuals with symptoms to report to a medical facility.
Tufton said the spread of Monkeypox can occur when a person comes into close contact with an infected animal or rodents.
Person-to-person spread is generally uncommon, but can occur through direct contact with Monkeypox skin lesions or scabs, contact with clothing or sheets or towels used by an infected person, as well as through coughing or sneezing from an infected person.
The virus enters the body through broken skin, even if it is not visible, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth).
“The incubation period, as we understand it, is between five and 21 days. Symptoms, usually mild to moderate, can include fever, intense headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, swelling, skin rash,” Tufton said.