KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness yesterday confirmed Jamaica’s first death related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The patient is a 79-year-old Jamaican male from Clarendon. He died on Wednesday at approximately 3 p.m.

The elderly man, with a travel history to New York, was a known diabetic and struggled with hypertension.

According to the Chief Medical Officer Jacquiline Bisasor-Mckenzie, the patient had shown some improvements, but his condition quickly deteriorated on Wednesday.

He reported to Lionel Town Hospital on Monday (March 16) and was later transferred to the Mandeville Regional Hospital. He presented symptoms fever, coughs and shortness of breath.

The elderly patient was about to be transferred to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in St Andrew on Wednesday afternoon when he died. With his passing, the ministry has activated its contact tracing having notified the family of his death.

With the confirmed positive test of the deceased patient, Jamaica records 15 cases of COVID-19. The patient’s death brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths to five.