Thu | Sep 23, 2021

Gov’t could impose new COVID measures as numbers spike

Published:Wednesday | July 21, 2021 | 6:18 PM
Holness: What is driving the spread is indiscipline, complacency, and a lack of diligence in observing the protocols.

Damion Mitchell/Integration Editor

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated that there could be a further tightening of the COVID containment measures as the number of infections and deaths continue to rise.

In June, there was an average 52 COVID cases per day, however, so far in July, there have been 62 cases per day.

“What is driving the spread is indiscipline, complacency, and a lack of diligence in observing the protocols,” said Holness in Parliament today.

He said come this weekend, the COVID sub-committee of the Cabinet will meet to review the data and decide whether to impose new COVID containment measures ahead of the August 11 expiration of the current ones.

If the Cabinet decides to adjust the protocols, an announcement would be made at a press conference on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Holness said the average positivity rate for the past seven days was 8.8 per cent, which means Jamaica is now in the high transmission range.

The target is 5 per cent for 14 days.

Hanover and Westmoreland are of particular concern, recording a rate of increase that is two to three times that of Kingston and St Andrew.

Over the past seven days, Hanover and Westmoreland have recorded 107 new cases.

The prime minister said, the rate at which an infected person is passing on the virus to another has also gone up, now averaging 1.1 instead of below 1 where it had been for some weeks.

Bracing for Delta variant 

Holness also said it would be wishful thinking that the Delta variant of COVID-19 would not reach Jamaica if it is not already here.

He has renewed calls for people to take the COVID vaccine to reduce the risk of severe illnesses.

According to Holness, in the United States, 97 per cent of the people being hospitalised with COVID were not vaccinated.

Holness said Jamaicans must decide if they want to go about business in a cautious way and keep the economy open or whether they want a path of indiscipline that would trigger tighter measures.

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