Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, is appealing for continued adherence to the coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety measures during the Independence period.
“I really want to encourage persons that for this holiday Independence weekend that they really stay home and celebrate at home with their family because with our reproductive rate going past one, what it means is that people are moving around and they are exposing (others),” she said.
She was speaking with JIS News during the Ministry’s first mobile vaccination initiative held at the Sovereign Centre in Kingston on Thursday (August 5).
Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie said major COVID – 19 indicators have shown an increase in the positivity rate, and there has been an increase in the utilisation of the COVID beds in hospitals. This includes confirmed and suspected COVID-19.
“In terms of the indicators we have been using to determine the trend in terms of what is happening, we certainly are seeing that the numbers are going up. Our positivity rate, even though we would have seen a fall in the daily positivity rate, our seven-day average still remains over 20 percent,” she said.
In addition, Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie said there is an increasing number of patients that are mechanically ventilated as well as the number of patients that are on high flow nasal oxygen.
Anticipating the reduced number of persons being tested over the long holiday weekend and decreased numbers of persons going to the hospitals, she said this may give the false impression of a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases.
“We tend to get a lull, but persons should not believe that that is a true reflection of what is happening, because the indicators are (showing) that the numbers are going up and there is more need for precautions,” she warned.
Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie urged continued adherence to the restrictions and safety protocols to minimise transmission of the virus.
As of August 5, there were 54,165 confirmed cases of the virus in Jamaica, 326 newly confirmed cases and 1,214 deaths.