Uptick In COVID-19 Cases In Jamaica

While speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Jamaica’s Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton said, “The island is currently seeing an increase in positivity rate for COVID-19. This means that for the number of tests done, the proportion of positives is actually increasing.”

He said further that “the actual numbers are not showing a consistent increase and generally speaking, it remains relatively low.”

Dr. Tufton urged Jamaicans not to panic over what he terms the slight increase in COVID-19 cases but to protect themselves against the virus.

“Over the past four weeks, there have been an average of 87 confirmed cases. The number of cases are not increasing. The average seven-day positivity rate is about 22 per cent…. Now, this is clearly higher than what we would like to see – ideally, of course, none – but an average of about five or so per cent.”

The Minister said the uptick in COVID-19 cases is due to the XBB.1.5 and BQ.1.1 sub-variants of the Omicron strain.

He said the number of new cases could be much higher as many people inflicted with the virus have opted not to get tested.

There have been 155,000 COVID-19 cases and 3,586 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began.

At the same time, Dr. Tufton has confirmed that some of the island’s major hospitals are being flooded with patients with respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

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Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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