MSJMC employee succumbs to COVID-19

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Antigua and Barbuda has recorded its fifth COVID-19 fatality..

The Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) on Sunday confirmed that a healthcare worker died after contracting COVID-19.

In a statement, the MSJMC identified the patient as a forty-six (46) year old female hospital employee who had been on vacation since mid-November. She was admitted to the hospital on December 10 with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). As a part of enhanced protocols for patients with ARDS at the hospital, a swab test for COVID-19 was performed which confirmed the hospital’s diagnosis. 

According to the statement, the patient was stabilised and transferred to the Infectious Disease Centre (IDC) for monitoring. Over the next forty-eight (48) hours, the patient’s symptoms worsened. She was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at MSJMC where she continued in respiratory failure and ultimately succumbed to her illness.

“We want to extend our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the patient”, said Dr. Albert Duncan, MSJMC’s Medical Director.

“I urge the media and the public to respect their privacy at this difficult time. Our hospital along with other healthcare authorities will continue our efforts to interrupt the transmission of this virus. It will take all of us, collectively to succeed. We urge everyone to please continue to follow public health advice.”

MSJMS said it was sharing information pertaining to the latest fatality in order to remain transparent to its MSJMC family and the community, but its information is limited to honor the privacy of their colleague and her family.

“We do not know the source of the infection with certainty,however, as with all positive COVID-19 cases, the appropriate public health officials are doing the necessary contact tracing,” the statement concluded.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne also confirmed the woman’s death in a Facebook post where he disclosed that the victim was a returning national.

PointeXpress has since been reliably informed that the victim is Rhea Jarvis of Pigotts village.