A young woman who was last Friday listed among the three new patients who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jamaica says she's not pleased with the lack of urgency with which local health authorities treated her case.
The woman, whose positive status was confirmed early Friday, said she had arrived on the island from New York last Tuesday morning.
She admitted feeling ill before boarding the flight but said she had been self-medicating.
“I had a fever and headache. I had a cold and my throat was hurting me,” she said on Friday afternoon.
“I drank garlic and ginger tea, but I was doing that before because I didn't want to get sick. Plus, I was taking vitamin C and drinking orange juice,” the woman added.
She said she had called the health authorities from 11:00 am that day, reporting that she had a fever, headache, sore throat, and was feeling weak. She said she was told to stay indoors and “not to go to the hospital or any medical center”.
“They told me that they would send an ambulance and that I'm to stay home, but no one showed up,“ she added.
The newspaper shared her comment with the health authorities but the following morning she said she had not been contacted by anyone.
She called the authorities again and said she was being told where to go in Kingston when her credit expired.
Eventually, she said, she was contacted by the health authorities, but after speaking with them she went to the hospital herself, was admitted and tested.
Checks with her on Thursday indicate she said she had no fever, pain or headache but was very concerned for her three children who were at home and short on food.
On Friday she received the test result showing that she was positive for COVID-19.
She said the health authorities told her they were preparing to have her children and their father quarantined at the hospital.
The woman, who was placed in a room by herself, also said she had contrasting experiences with nurses at the hospital. “A nurse was scorning me. She put water in a basin, then kick it to me and said 'no disrespect', but there are three other nurses who have been kind to me,” she said.
Later that Friday, she said the treatment improved and she had received vitamin C from a relative.
When asked how she felt about the whole process of reporting and the response from the health authorities, she said: “I don't think they're doing their best. They took very long to respond to me.”