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BREAKING: Jamaica records first coronavirus death

Jamaica has recorded its first death related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Permanent secretary in the ministry Dunstan Bryan said the patient tested positive today, March 18, and died today. He made the announcement during a media briefing at Jamaica House today

Chief Medical Officer Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie said the patient was a 79-year-old male with travel history from New York. The deceased is from Clarendon and had a history of hypertension and diabetes, she said.

The deceased presented to the Lionel Town Hospital in Clarendon on March 16 with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. He was noted to be critically ill and was transferred to the Mandeville Regional Hospital where he was isolated and treated.

The CMO said he showed some signs of improvement yesterday but his condition started to deteriorate again today. He was being prepared to be move to the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston when he passed away at approximately 3:00PM.

An additional two individuals were confirmed positive with the COVID-19 from 11 who were tested. One case is linked to the first individual who was confirmed with the virus.

The confirmations bring to 15 the total number of cases in Jamaica.

The results for another six samples are being awaited from the National Influenza Centre.