National Epidemiologist, Dr Karen Webster Kerr says the island’s COVID-19 cases are likely to go down in November.
This is despite a recent spike in cases since the announcement of the community transmission phase of COVID-19 on the island.
“We have seen a leveling off and hopefully this means something good that we are slowing the curve and will start to go down in the positivity rate, and hopefully reach less than five percent. It may take four weeks or so to see that happen.
Speaking at a virtual media briefing yesterday, Dr. Webster Kerr said the weekly epidemiological data, show that people who died from the virus had, in some cases one or more co-morbidities.
“Men are more likely to die than women and as you get older, you are more likely to die. So this is telling us that we need to protect the older persons in our society. Almost all persons who have died, had at least one risk factor or co-morbidity and many had numerous,” she explained.
In the meantime, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, says 96.6 percent of the more than 5,000 cases of COVID-19 recorded locally were persons who displayed mild to no symptoms.
However, she said only a small percentage of the cases monitored in hospital required ventilators.
‘Of the cases that we would have monitored in hospital… only a very small percentage would have required ventilatory support. In terms of recovery, what we would have seen, of the persons that we would have monitored in hospital, so far 23 percent would have recovered and we still have in hospital 36 percent of persons or 67 persons that we are monitoring that are moderately to critically ill,” she explained.
She said while all parishes in Jamaica are showing active COVID-19 cases, the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, Manchester, Clarendon and St James continue to pose the greatest concern.
However, there were some skeptics about the data presented who made their voices heard on social media, among them LeAnn Watson, who commented on one of Nationwide News Network’s platform.
“Unfortunately I do not believe this data for a second. Go back and look at the data y’all use to release and not only that, persons with symptoms were all y’all were looking for. I still have much of that data… Pure Unadulterated bullshyt!” he said.
For his part, Dwight Mckenzie reasoned that: “If 97% has no or mild symptoms then it may be fair to assume that the true number of infected people is more than 50000. Most are just passing it off as flu or sinus.”
However, for Ronique Allison, the key to flattening the COVID-19 curve, is to take better care of nutritional needs.