Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Half of COVID deaths among over-70s

Published:Tuesday | September 8, 2020 | 12:29 AM
There have been almost 3,200 COVID-19 cases in Jamaica.
There have been almost 3,200 COVID-19 cases in Jamaica.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has imposed stricter COVID-19 restrictions.

The clampdown includes a slightly longer islandwide curfew, a stay-at-home order for the elderly, and a reduction in the allowable numbers in public gatherings.

Starting 8 o’clock tonight until 5 a.m. daily, the new curfew times will be in effect until September 23.

“Transmission of the virus can no longer be easily traced from one member of the population to another. ... Of concern is the number of deaths have doubled over the last two weeks,” Holness said at a Jamaica House virtual press briefing on Monday evening.

Gatherings have been reduced to 15 persons, down from 20.

The prime minister also reminded the public that funerals remained prohibited. Burials will be allowed.

Jamaicans 70 or older must stay home, with the option of leaving once each day to buy necessities such as medicine, food, and to exercise.

Holness disclosed that of the 34 COVID-19 deaths, 19 were persons 70 years and over.

“We have reduced the age limit from 75 to 70 given the high vulnerability of persons within this age group ... ,” the prime minister said.

“Most of our deaths are persons in this category, and I am imploring everyone to be specially careful.”

83-year-old dies

Eighty new infections and one additional death were reported on Monday. Overall cases now stand at 3,183.

The latest deceased is an 83-year-old woman who also had diabetes, one of the underlying conditions that make the elderly particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Just over 30 per cent of infected people have recovered.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton also addressed concerns about the availability of ventilators at the University Hospital of the West Indies, saying there was no shortage.