Health ministry issues warning about Delta and other COVID-19 variantsMonday, June 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaicans travelling overseas should observe strict safety protocols to prevent importation of the Delta and other highly transmissible variants of the COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised.
Addressing the ministry's virtual COVID Conversations press briefing last Thursday, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie revealed that preliminary reports coming out of the United Kingdom (UK) indicate that the Delta variant is 40 per cent more transmissible.
“There is a report, as well, that it is 2.61 times more likely to result in a severe illness and hospitalisation,” Dr Bisasor-McKenzie said.
Even more important to prevent importation of these transmissible variants is the maintenance of quarantine protocols for people arriving in Jamaica, the CMO said.
“This is one of the things that are important for Jamaicans to understand. While you see quarantine measures being eased in other places, it is important [to note] that many countries still maintain their quarantine measures and it is because of the risk of spread of these variants that even vaccinated persons can bring into country. That is why we would want the quarantine [measures] to be in place,” she continued.
She further encouraged Jamaicans to practise COVID-19 safety protocols while travelling overseas even in countries that do not require maintenance of the precautions.
“They may bring back into the country a variant that is naïve to the population and, of course, that means that it will spread very, very quickly within the population. With the vast number of persons in country that are not vaccinated, we remain at risk from all the strains of the COVID-19. So we are still at risk of exposure for the variants, which present an additional risk,” Dr Bisasor-McKenzie explained.
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