Jamaica’s daily COVID-19 case count has hit another record high with 328 positive cases identified in the last 24 hours. These positives arise from the 2,089 samples that were tested at the National Public Health Lab and the National Influenza Centre. The positivity rate for the period has now increased from 14.3% on Thursday to 15.70%.
Kingston & St. Andrew (70), St. James (53), Manchester (49) and St. Catherine (43) are the parishes with the highest number of cases recorded in the 24 hours timeline. The number of active cases in the country has now increased to 4,074 with some 130 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital across the island. Among the patients who are in hospital, 21 are moderately ill, while 17 are in critical condition.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie noted that “there has been an increase in the number of social gatherings across the country especially in the corporate area. These events will increase exposure and infections. The younger age groups who attend these functions are likely to become infected, but will have mild symptoms. They are however spreading to the older and more vulnerable populations leading to an increase in hospitalizations and severe illness. In addition the increase number of cases in the 20 to 39 age group continue to drive the infection rate putting the entire population at risk for more restrictive measures.”
Members of the public are again asked to take every precaution to guard against the spread of this disease. Jamaicans must adhere to the provisions under the Disaster Risk Management Act, even as they increase their vigilance to the infection prevention and control measures – washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer, keeping a physical distance of six feet from others; wearing masks and avoiding crowded situations.
COVID-19 Cluster at Blood Bank
The Ministry of Health & Wellness can confirm that a cluster of COVID-19 cases has been identified at the National Blood Transfusion Services (Blood Bank). Some 11 positives cases were identified from 46 staff members who were tested. Arrangements are being put in place to test the remaining five members of staff. The staff members, who are positive will be placed in insolation, even as the management team moves to ensure that the operations of the Blood Bank and its blood collection network continue to operate. The blood collection at the National Chest Hospital has been put in hold to facilitate deployment of staff to the Blood Bank. Blood collection will however, continue at National Chest Hospital on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., but during the week persons are asked to visit the Slipe Pen Road donation site.