Passengers from the flight were quarantined and tested, and 20 passengers from the flight tested positive for the disease. The samples which were first tested in Jamaica, had been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for further evaluation.
This particular flight arrived on December 21, the same day Government announced that it was restricting flights from the UK, due to an outbreak of the new COVID-19 strain there. Jamaica has restricted flights from the UK, until January 31.
Tufton told the media this evening, that health officials have no evidence to suggest that the new COVID-19 strain is in Jamaica's general population.
In the meantime, the health minister says Jamaica recorded 118 positive COVID-19 cases from a sample tested of 513 in the last 24 hours, representing a positivity rate of 23 per cent -- the highest positivity rate over the last eight weeks.
The health minister told the media that “this is very concerning to us.” He said “While it is early days yet, the trends are showing an uptick in the number of cases being reported, especially in the western end of the island,” Tufton said.
“We are concerned and continue to be concerned about certain parishes… Westmoreland was one of the key parishes that we spoke about, and there were added restrictions there, but there are others, and it is a matter that we have to monitor carefully and act appropriately in order to cauterize the situation,” he added.
Tufton said that based on the assessment of public health, and as a result of the increased movement in the population due to international travel, and the celebrations for the Yuletide season, there was an anticipation of a spike in the number of cases for the month of January.
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