Curfews tightened as COVID-19 cases riseMonday, July 26, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— With more than 800 cases of COVID-19 recorded in just six days between last Tuesday and Sunday, and with a positivity rate above 10 per cent, Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Monday announced a tightening of the health protocols that are intended to keep the population safe.
The decision was taken on Saturday during a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee that focuses on the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is clear that we need to act now," said Holness, as he addressed a press conference at Jamaica House.
Effective Tuesday, July 27, the curfew will commence at 8:00pm and will run until 5:00 the following morning. This will be in place until Saturday.
On Sundays and public holidays, the curfew will run from 3:00pm to 5:00am the following day.
On Emancipation Day, Sunday, August 1, the curfew runs from 3:00pm to 5:00am the next day. The holiday will be observed on Monday, August 2 and the curfew will run from 3:00pm until 5:00am the next day.
On Independence Day, Tuesday, August 6, the curfew will begin at 3:00pm until 5:00 the next morning.
The country averaged 52 daily new cases of COVID-19 in June followed by an uptick, which saw the daily average increased to 62 per day in the first two weeks of 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 on July 20, when 132 new cases of the coronavirus were recorded. This was followed by five more days that recorded numbers above 100. During this period the positivity rate has been as high as 16.8 per cent.
Scientists have said that a positivity rate of five per cent or less is more acceptable.
The country is now averaging 135 new cases per day and total cases recorded in July so far is 1,818. The transmission rate has moved from medium to very high in a matter of days, said the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.
The transmission rate which was below one is now at 1.4 which represents the number of people an infected person can spread the virus to. Additionally, hospitalisations are up with seven hospitals currently having over 84 per cent capacity.
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