Some students studying in Jamaica heading home

Eraise Thompson, a student at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in Jamaica, is heading home as the number of new coronavirus cases grows in the country.

Jamaica, which confirmed its first case earlier this week, now has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Asked if she feels safe, Thompson said: “Not particularly.”

“I’m a respiratory-compromised individual because I have asthma, so, being in an environment that has the virus is not particularly conducive to my health,” she said.

“And I most definitely want to go home and I intend to go home in the very near future.

“In general, the situation is very interesting to me. I’ve never seen a situation where the economy has taken such a hit.”

UWI announced on Thursday that classes will be suspended until April 14 due to concern over the spread of COVID-19.

Ashley Rose, who is also a student at the same campus, said she feels safe in Kingston, but would just rather be home.

“They sent out an advisory to all of the students yesterday to let us know that school will be closed and to suggest that if it’s possible we go home,” she said.

“I would much rather be at home with my family dealing with this situation as opposed to being at school by myself.

“I feel pretty safe here.

“I don’t feel like it’s wise to panic and be frantic about the situation.”

Rose said she believes the best thing she can do is practice the basic hygiene measures that help prevent the spread of the virus, including washing her hands and avoiding touching her face.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on Wednesday.

The virus, which can cause pneumonia, originated in Wuhan, China, late last year.

Since then, it has spread to all continents except Antarctica, with major outbreaks in China, South Korea, Iran and Italy.

As of yesterday, there were nearly 140,000 cases of the virus across the globe. Over 5,000 people have died, with the majority of deaths in mainland China.

The virus has been spreading throughout the United States, where there were over 1,700 confirmed cases and 41 deaths.

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