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JAMAICA | COVID-19 Cases in Jamaica Jumps to 223, Six deaths

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, speaks at a virtual press conference at Jamaica House on Monday. Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, speaks at a virtual press conference at Jamaica House on Monday.
KINGSTON, Jamaica April 20, 2020 -  - The number of COVID-19 cases in Jamaica has risen to 223, an increase of 27 new cases in the last 24 hours. The death toll now climbs to six with the deatrh of retired chemist, Professor Emeritus Tara Dasgupta who is linked to the University of the West Indies (UWI) and who tested positive for COVID-19.

This update was given  today by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, during a virtual press conference at Jamaica House.

“Of those 27 new cases, 19 are females [and] eight are males, and 26 of them are linked to the [Alorica] Portmore workplace cluster. There are now 34 imported cases, six are local transmission with no epidemiological link, 47 are contacts of confirmed cases and 136 are under investigation,” the Minister said.

“Of that 136 persons, 120 have been identified within that workplace cluster in Portmore, in addition to 16 other cases,” he added.

So far, 1,889 samples have been tested, with 223 positive and 1,655 negative, and 11 are pending.

In terms of isolation and recovery, there are 128 persons in isolation and 24 in quarantine in a government-operated facility.

The Government has reiterated that masks must be worn to prevent contracting the virus and spreading it.

With this increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, Jamaica could be on the brink of experiencing a community spread.

Prime Minister  Andrew Holness, said with Jamaica expecting community spread, new curfew Orders will be put in place.

“We have examined the curfews, and as I’ve said, they have worked very well [in the past], but given the phase we’re in, the potential now of community spread, we believe that we had to tighten the curfews,” Mr. Holness said.

“The Cabinet considered it carefully and on the advice of the security forces and the health considerations from the Ministry of Health [and Wellness] we have some new curfew hours, islandwide,” he said.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced the closure of all business process outsourcing (BPO) operations for 14 days starting at midnight on Wednesday.

More than 100 of the 223 confirmed virus cases in Jamaica have been linked to the Alorica call centre in Portmore, St Catherine.

Holness stated that the health and safety of the country is a priority.

Meanwhile, Holness informed that Jamaica’s borders will remain closed until May 31, with controlled re-entry of Jamaicans, subject to established protocols.

And schools are to remain closed until May 31.

 In addition, For the next 14 days, beginning Wednesday, April 22, new islandwide curfews will be from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily.

Last modified onTuesday, 21 April 2020 00:03
  • Countries: Jamaica
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