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JAMAICA | 116 new COVID cases in 24 hours up to Sunday afternoon

  • Written by Wiredja News Desk
  • Published in Health
KINGSTON, August 24, 2020 – As the spike in Jamaica’s COVID-19 cases continues to spiral, there is no hint of the September 3 general elections being postponed as the Health Ministry reports a record 116 new cases over the 24 hour period ending Sunday afternoon. This has pushed the overall total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,529.

The data was disclosed by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, during a Ministry of Health and Wellness Online Press Conference to update the nation on the latest on COVID-19 in Jamaica on Sunday night.

Some 68 females are among the newly confirmed cases, and 48 males.

Kingston and St Andrew accounted for 51of the newly confirmed cases with  37 in St Catherine; 10 in St Thomas; seven in Clarendon; four in Manchester; two each in St Ann and St Mary; and one each in Hanover, St Elizabeth and Westmoreland.

Their ages range from 17 to 85 years.

Tufton said five of the new cases are contacts of confirmed cases, one was imported, and 110 cases are under investigation.

Meanwhile, two additional patients have recovered from the virus and have been released, pushing the total recoveries up to 819.

The health and wellness minister noted that there are now 622 active cases under observation, while there are presently four moderately ill patients and four critically ill patients.

Tufton bemoaned that "too many of us have not been keeping up with the protocols that have been established.

"And that has created for us a major issue in terms of the surge that we see. Jamaicans coming home not abiding by the protocol has been a challenge," he added.

He said the ministry had anticipated a jump in cases of COVID-19 following the opening of the borders.

"Now we in public health have always anticipated that the numbers would go up because we linked the risks with the decisions that we have made, meaning the opening up. And so one of the things we are going to have to work on as a country is to accept that while we make the efforts to minimise the positives, if we follow the protocol we will still see higher numbers of positives than we would have seen when we had a closing of the borders, and in a sense it's a narrative that reflects living with COVID," the health minister said.

Wiredja news understands that the University Hospital of the West Indies, UHWI, is at capacity for both Covid-19 transfers and non-COVID patients at this time, with over twenty patients waiting on a bed.

Its further understood that hospitals with ventilators are being asked to get their procedures activated urgently, in order to get ready for the expected spike in coronavirus patients.

Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr Morais Guy said hospitals in the western end of the island also seems to be having similar problems.

"The fact is, hospitals are overwhelmed," he said.

"There is a personnel shortage as well to man the system and if you have an influx of patients, coupled with a personnel shortage, that certainly is a recipe for disaster in the health sector and the ministry has not said anything about it and we are concerned" he said.

Last modified onMonday, 24 August 2020 09:17
  • Countries: Jamaica