Ruling party mourns death of councilor due to COVID-19

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Derron Wood

KINGSTON, Jamaica, the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is in mourning following death Derron Wood’s death, a councilor from Portland’s eastern parish.

Wood, who represented the Fairy Hill division in the parish, died on Thursday from COVID-19 related complications. 

It’s reported that Wood, 62, was rushed to a hospital in Port Antonio – the parish capital of Portland on Wednesday and later transferred to the University Hospital in the Corporate Area, where he died. 

He also reportedly received his first dose of the COVID vaccine in recent days.

Following news of his death, the Member of Parliament for Portland Eastern Ann-Marie Vaz and Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie both expressed shock and sadness.

In paying tribute, Vaz says the news of his passing is devastating as she worked with him for over 20 years. 

For his part, McKenzie says Wood’s passing is a bitter blow to the ruling party, adding that he was a popular and highly respected councilor who served the people of Fairy Hill in that capacity for nearly 18 years.

Wood first won a seat on a JLP ticket during the 2003 local government elections.

His death follows another councilor from the same parish, Irvin Brown, who also died from COVID-19 complications in October 2020.

Meanwhile, the Department of Correctional Services on Thursday afternoon reported that an inmate at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre has died from complications associated with COVID 19.

The department says he died at the Spanish Town Hospital in the central parish earlier this week, where he was admitted after contracting the virus.

The Department says it will now conduct a series of contact tracing and that testing will be done for high-risk contacts.

The department added that the Independent Commission of Investigations has been informed of the development and that the inmate’s next of kin have been contacted.

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