1.5 million Jamaicans could contract COVID-19

Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton says based on modelling, up to 1.5 million Jamaicans may contract COVID-19. 

Dr Tufton said a minority of these positives will need hospitalisation, and the vast majority will have to home quarantine.

“The more positive cases we have, the more people will have to get well at home once they’re asymptomatic,” he said. “The overwhelming majority will have no need to be placed in a hospital setting. They can stay at home, once they have somewhere to isolate… they will get well over time.”

There are currently 2,096 active cases of COVID-19 being monitored, with Dr Tufton announcing last week that the country had entered the community spread phase.

“Assume that everyone you come in contact with is a positive COVID-19 case,” Dr Tufton warned. “Cases are going to pop up any and everywhere.”

Meanwhile, the country now has 34 deaths from COVID-19, doubling over the last two weeks, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said this evening at a virtual press conference.

He said people 70 and older need to be particularly careful, as of the 34 deaths, 19 were people aged 70 and older. Fifteen of the deaths were people below 70, and 15 had co-morbidities and other risk factors.

“Younger people also need to be sensitive,” Holness said. “While you may be asymptomatic, you may pass on the virus to your mother or grandmother.”

Holness said the health authorities have advised that our surge in cases can be linked to certain activities — conventions, funerals, parties, “and no doubt there will be some effect from Nomination Day”.

Another causative factor is people arriving from overseas and not adhering to quarantine orders, Holness said.

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