This is grim news. We are waiting to hear what Prime Minister Andrew Holness says when he speaks to Parliament at 2:00 p.m. Jamaica time today. This will be broadcast live on the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) YouTube page, cable TV channel, and Facebook page. Health officials and aides will be doing a blitz in the central parish of Manchester (an area of particular concern) tomorrow – see flyer below…
Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday, February 9, 2021: Jamaica has logged a record 403 positive cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period, even as the public health system increases its testing across the island. These positives come from a set of 1,935 new samples that were tested in the last 24 hours and brings the island’s COVID-19 cases count to 17,701. The island’s positivity rate now stands at 20.82 per cent.
Manchester (81), St. James (69), Kingston and St. Andrew (66), and St. Catherine (54) were the parishes accounting for the largest contribution to the record number of cases. The country is now managing some 4,793 cases across the island while some 156 of the active cases require hospitalization. There are now 22 moderately ill COVID-19 patients and 13 more are in critical condition.
One new death, an 84-year-old man from Kingston and St. Andrew, was also recorded over the 24-hour period, while 44 more patients have recovered and have been released from isolation. The total number of COVID-19 related deaths now totals 359.
The Health and Wellness Ministry is also monitoring hospital capacity across the island. Currently Western Region has an occupancy of 83 per cent; Southern Region 76 per cent; Northern Region 66 per cent; and the South East Region is at 59 per cent capacity.
Members of the public are again asked to take every precaution to guard against the spread of this disease. Jamaicans must adhere to the provisions under the Disaster Risk Management Act, even as they increase their vigilance to the infection prevention and control measures – washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer; keep a physical distance of six feet from others; wearing masks; and avoiding crowded situations.