This is the third consecutive day that the island is seeing record numbers in cases of the virus. On Friday, there were 527 new infections and another 723 on Saturday.
At a press conference this evening, following the arrival of 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from India, the prime minister thanked the government of India for their generosity and said vaccinations would begin immediately on the basis of the schedule by the Ministry of Health.
“These measures will have an impact on the economy. It will have even greater impact on your ability to move; it will have even greater impact on your ability to gather. It really depends on what you do at this point in time,” he said.
The Prime Minister, who was addressing a virtual press conference on Monday said Jamaica is now in the danger zone with regard to the pandemic.
“We are now in the danger zone. The numbers will continue to rise. It is the nature of the pandemic,” the Prime Minister noted.
“If we do not get these numbers down, it is likely that he mortality rate could also rise, so in this phase of the management of the pandemic, the Government has to remain strident; it has to remain resolute in the measures that we have implemented,” he pointed out.
“Yes, we are in the darkest hour of the pandemic, and yes, it will pass at some time, but exactly how that happens depends on how you as an individual, as a citizen, as a worker, as a mother, father – it depends on what you do,” he stressed.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton said seven samples taken from the parishes of St Catherine, St James, Clarendon, Trelawny, Kingston and St Andrew, returned positive for the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19.
"What this confirms for us in public health is that the UK variant strain is present in our population as manifested in the sequencing or the testing that has been done at CARPHA in Trinidad," said Tufton.
The minister said the samples were randomly selected in January and the results were returned on March 6.
Of the 878 persons who were today confirmed positive over the past 24 hours, a whopping 500 were females.
To date 15,044 females and 11,857 males have tested positive for the virus — a total of 26,904 confirmed infections with 454 deaths after a 63-year-old man died yesterday.
The parish with the highest number of cases for the day is St Catherine, which had 187 cases, while St Mary and Hanover had the least cases of 17 and 16, respectively.
Kingston and St Andrew had the second highest number of cases, with 179 new infections, followed by St Ann with 88 and St James 86.
The other cases are as follows: Clarendon (68), Manchester (58), St Thomas (56), St Elizabeth (49), Portland and Trelawny (25 each), Westmoreland (24).
Active cases stand at 11,770 after 146 recoveries for the 24-hour period.
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