KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaicans will remain under a 10:00pm to 5:00am curfew until February 10 as the country continues to record hundreds of daily new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The measure was due to be lifted on January 28 but Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the House of Representatives on Tuesday that it would be extended by two weeks. He said all the other protocols will remain in place.
The prime minister also said that the various indicators are showing that the overall numbers have begun to fall. He said the average number of confirmed cases over the past seven days was 921 per day.
“For the immediate preceding seven days it was 1,402 per day so we've seen a decline of 34 per cent,” he noted.
The prime minister also highlighted that the dominant omicron variant that was first detected in South Africa last November has been circulating in Jamaica for some time. This was confirmed by the now operational genome sequencing machine.
Holness told the House that 40 of 43 samples that were tested in Jamaica came back positive for the omicron variant.
“Of the 43 samples sequenced, 40 or 93 per cent were confirmed to be the omicron variant. It is clear that that is the dominant strain now in Jamaica,” the prime minister stated. He said the samples were taken between December 21 and 24 last year.
“All the indications were that we experiencing an omicron wave but we now have definitive confirmation of this,” Holness said.