Jamaica: COVID-19 patient breastfeeds baby

Jamaica: COVID-19 patient breastfeeds baby

(JAMAICA STAR) – Finger-pointing, bad-mouthing, and even threats of arson were hurled at a woman in Clarendon on Thursday after residents learnt that she has tested positive for the new coronavirus – COVID-19.

The 32-year-old is quarantined at her home, along with two other members of her family, which includes a three-month-old child.

“I ask and they say I can still breastfeed. I ask a lot of questions so I can protect the children,” said the woman who also has a 10-year-old.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States said that in the limited studies on women with COVID-19 and another coronavirus infection, the virus has not been detected in breast milk. The CDC said, tough that it does not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk. It advises that persons who are breastfeeding and have symptoms of, or have been confirmed to have COVID-19, should take steps to avoid spreading the virus to the baby. These steps include washing of hands before touching the baby, and wearing a face mask while feeding.


The COVID-19 patient with whom THE WEEKEND STAR spoke on Thursday wore a mask as she comforted the baby. The woman said that she has not been showing any symptoms of the virus. Sadness swept across her face as she explained how she and her family have been the talk of the district.

“We nuh go pon di road but right now is bare rumours dem a spread and a bare bad tings dem have a talk and a say we come give the place corona,” the woman said. “Mi not even walk go out by the gate, enuh, and neither mi son because the nurse dem tell mi not to. The baby and mi son are not positive and mi really happy about that,” she said.

The woman and the members of her household that tested positive for the coronavirus are linked to that of the 79-year-old man from Corn Piece Settlement, also in Clarendon, who became Jamaica’s first COVID-related death.

“None of us were showing any symptoms or anything, but dem did make we quarantine for 14 days. Is Sunday my test results come back and it positive. Dem take the other persons and carry dem away because dem a elderly, but mi stay back because of the baby and mi likkle son,” she said.

She stated that she has been receiving groceries and other necessities from the Government but stated that she is running low on water.

“Right now, is just the water issues I have because the hogs and the goats going to need them, but in addition to that, I really need water to make sure that the place is clean. Dem did carry some for mi but it a finish now but dem did promise to come back today (yesterday) so mi will see,” she said.

The communities of Longville Park, Hayes, and Portland Cottage were listed as areas of concern by Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton during Wednesday’s digital media briefing after he disclosed that six new positive cases came from those communities.

When THE WEEKEND STAR visited the South East Clarendon communities yesterday, there were hardly anyone in sight. Doors and windows were shut tight as residents appear to be staying in. However, one of the few persons that the news team encountered barefacedly suggested that the woman’s house should be burned to the ground.


“Dem run go over Corn Piece and den come back come contaminate di place. A bun mi feel fi bun it dung,” he said angrily.

He also hurled a string of expletives at the news team, who had warned him against carrying out his threats of violence and arson.

Upon learning about the threats of arson, May Pen’s Mayor Winston Maragh said he made contact with the Clarendon police who deployed a team of security personnel to the area.


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