After 3 days of triple-digit infections, Gov't mulls tighter COVID protocolsSaturday, July 24, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Following three straight days of increases in the number of cases of COVID-19 that exceeded the 100-figure mark, the subcommittee of the Cabinet that focuses on the coronavirus will be meeting this weekend to determine whether to tighten the health protocols ahead of the Emancipendence holidays.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness warned on Tuesday during a statement in the House of Representatives that the COVID measures could be tightened ahead of August 10 when they are up for review.
The country averaged 52 daily cases of COVID-19 in June followed by an uptick which saw the daily average increased to 62 per day in July. For two straight months from May 20, the country did not record a daily case load of new infections above 100.
However, all that changed this week when on Tuesday, 132 new cases were recorded. More worrying was the fact that the positivity rate exceeded 16 per cent on that day. On Wednesday some 138 new cases were recorded with a positivity rate of nearly 14 per cent. This was followed by 144 new cases on Thursday with a positivity rate of 11.2 per cent.
Scientists have cited that a positivity rate of five per cent or less is more acceptable.
Meanwhile, the country should know by Tuesday whether the COVID measures will be tightened. With the Parliament on summer break, the prime minister has said he will use a press conference to convey the Government's position.
The entertainment sector was officially reopened on July 1 after being shuttered for more than a year. Parties and entertainment events that are being held without the requisite permits and which flout the COVID protocols, as well as people who refuse to wear mask and practice social distancing, are being blamed for the uptick in cases at a time when less than 10 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.
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