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Jamaica: No Community Spread Yet, But Watch Out For Silent Carriers

DESPITE NOT being able to say how scores of people contracted the COVID-19 disease, Jamaica’s chief medical officer (CMO) has told a committee of Parliament that the country’s situation has not yet met the medical threshold of community spread.

“With [regard] to community transmission, while it is that we still have not met the criteria – and the criteria that we had outlined some time ago in terms of the unrelated clusters and the number of cases coming out of the surveillance and the numbers of local transmission cases – in our discussion with PAHO/WHO, we are still classified as clustered of cases because you can see that our large number of cases are coming from these large clusters that we have,” Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie told the COVID-19 select committee of Parliament yesterday.

Jamaica has so far recorded 507 SARS-CoV-2 infections, with two new cases emerging over the last 24 hours – a 57-year-old woman and a six-year-old boy both from Kingston and St Andrew. One hundred people have recovered from the disease, representing fewer than 20 per cent of those affected.

The country leads the English-speaking Caribbean in raw numbers, but the CMO said that the volume of infections would have been far greater had the slew of restrictions not been imposed.

She said the country has seen a flattening of the curve, which means that cases of COVID-19 are not rising beyond the control of healthcare professionals.

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