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Jamaica: Portland sounds alarm over record one-day infections

Describing the spike in COVID-19 cases in Portland as alarming, Port Antonio Mayor Paul Thompson is appealing for residents to be more responsible and to adhere to health and safety protocols.

Thompson’s comments came hours after the Ministry of Health and Wellness revealed that Portland accounted for 58 of the 723 new cases on Saturday.

Portland has tallied 639 cases overall since the first infection was recorded on the island nearly a year ago. That represents two and a half per cent of Jamaica’s aggregate 26,026 cases.

But Saturday’s one-day positive results are almost 10 per cent of all of Portland infections since the spring of 2020. The eastern Jamaica parish has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases islandwide.

The mayor has cited the illegal hosting of parties and the refusal by commuters to wear face masks as triggers of the upswing in infections. He said tougher enforcement was required to curb the spread of the virus, which has been “killing our friends, neighbours, and family”.

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