Recovered COVID patient still being cautious

September 29, 2020

Yesterday, a Mail Online story suggested that a South Korean woman who tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time in April, became reinfected after she used an aeroplane bathroom.

Time also reported in August that a man living in Hong Kong who had tested positive in March, tested positive again in mid-August but without symptoms.

Jane*, who was part of the Alorica call centre workplace cluster, told THE STAR that she continues to take precautions despite recovering from the virus.

"I still wear my mask. I basically operate like I didn't have it before, because the ministry of health doesn't know everything about this virus yet. It is a new virus. So they can't know everything. Even if they tell me that I cannot get it again, I would still wear the mask and do what I am supposed to do to protect myself," she said.

Jane said she is specifically being cautious now, because she wants to avoid the 'drama' that comes with COVID-19.

I was scorned

"It was a lot. My community knew I worked at Alorica so when everything was all over the news, there was no hiding for me. I was scorned and that is still going on even now, just not as much. If yuh nuh strong, just the treatment will kill you before the virus kill yuh. So I don't want to end up in that position again," she said.

Public health expert Dr Alverston Bailey is calling for the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) to make any data it may have on the possibility of COVID-19 reinfection be made available to the medical fraternity.

"The issue on the table is does the ministry have any information that anyone of the persons who were originally found positive have returned with symptoms to suggest that they are reinfected?" Bailey told THE STAR. The World Health Organisation said last month that COVID reinfection is slim.

Bailey, past president of the Medical Association of Jamaica, says information on reinfection would be of great value to the medical fraternity.

"That would be important to put us on our guard ... we'd be happy to have access to the information to guide us," he said.

On Sunday, Jamaica recorded 153 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 6,170. There were four other deaths, bringing that total to 93; 1,741 have recovered. Of the 4,250 active cases, 149 are hospitalised, 26 are moderately ill and 10 considered critical.

Bailey also said any information would also push those who recovered from the virus to add an extra layer of precaution to safeguard themselves.

"What it would mean is that if you have had the virus, and you have had any risk at all of reinfection, you should be doubling how careful you are, to ensure that you follow the protocols to prevent reinfection," he said.

* Name changed

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