COVID cases continue to rise in Jamaica, says Tufton
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton says that there has been an uptick in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country.
“COVID continues to show signs of increase. I spoke to it last week in the Parliament where I indicated that at an average we were carrying about 100 cases a month since January. I’m told, up to last night, that we’re now seeing 130 [cases],” Tufton said.
Tufton was addressing the Post Cabinet Press Briefing at the Banquet Hall, Jamaica House on Wednesday.
Up to July 15, there had been 37 active COVID-19 cases in St Thomas and parish’s Medical Officer of Health Dr D’Oyen Smith stressed that the disease remained a priority for the health department. However, the Ministry of Health said there was no need, at this point, to once again make the wearing of masks mandatory for everyone, but urged vulnerable groups to take precautions.
Against this background, the health minister emphasised that while confirmed cases have increased, there has not been a significant rise in the number of deaths.
“The good part of that, of course, is that we’re not seeing any significant increase in deaths, which is the extreme case. Every death is regrettable, of course. But the fact that we’re seeing increases in positivity, it means that it will have an impact on hospitalisation and bed occupancy. And the fact that people are in hospital means the probability of people dying will increase. So, we can’t take it lightly,” he emphasised.
He is urging the nation’s most vulnerable to take the necessary steps to remain COVID-19-free.
“Our message continues to be if you a vulnerable, if you are in doubt, if you are concerned, see your doctor. There are infection prevention and control mechanisms that are standard operating procedures such as mask-wearing, sanitisation, avoiding of crowds, particularly if you fall in the vulnerable category [over 65], underlying conditions; cancers, front line workers,” he said.
The ministry will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely, he added.