KINGSTON, Jamaica: The death of one tourist from suspected food poisoning and the hospitalization of 10 others have triggered an investigation by the nation’s Ministry of Health.
Health authorities have taken for testing samples of the meal which the visitors prepared and ate before falling ill last Wednesday night.
Local media reports indicated that the group consisted of tourists from the United States, Japan, Italy, Argentina, as well as some Jamaicans who had come together for a second wedding ceremony for Jamaican Venecia Williams and Argentinian Lucas Vall, who were married in Japan, where they live.
A statement from tourism minister Edmund Bartlett, who visited the hospitalized tourists last Thursday, said preliminary investigations indicated that members of the group, vacationing at a villa in St. Mary, purchased fish at a supermarket in Ocho Rios just a few hours earlier, but felt unwell after eating the meal of fish and potato salad they had made.
They were rushed to the St. Ann’s Bay hospital where one of them – Argentinian Aldo Malastina – was pronounced dead on arrival.
Some of the victims have since been released. The others are in stable condition and are responding well to treatment.
Bartlett has expressed condolences to the family and friends of Lucas Vall.
“On behalf of the Jamaican government, the people of Jamaica, the Ministry of Tourism, the Jamaica Tourist Board and its other agencies, as well as the entire tourism fraternity, I would like to express sincere regret at the unfortunate passing of one of our guests, who has died under such circumstances. I would also like to extend condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the deceased,” he said.
Bartlett added that his ministry was implementing measures to provide support for the relatives of the deceased and members of the group as they seek to recover from this “regrettable ordeal”.