Health Ministry Keeps Close Watch On New Variant Of COVID-19

Health Ministry Keeps Close Watch On New Variant Of COVID-19

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Ministry is keeping close tabs on the new Mu variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has now emerged in the Caribbean.

This latest strain of  COVID-19 was reported to be detected in St. Vincent and is deemed to be more transmittable.

In light of this, Dr. Tufton told journalists during a tour of vaccination sites in St. James on Wednesday (September 8) that the country has the new strain under surveillance, as it is imperative that the Jamaican population be protected.

“Now that we know that there is the Mu variant in the Caribbean and it is one of concern, then we will pay particular attention to ensuring that we not only test for Delta and the others but we test for this particular one as well,” Dr. Tufton outlined.

“We have collected samples and sent them to three sites outside of Jamaica for those samples to be tested,” he added.

The Minister said that in its monitoring of the Mu variant or any other variant of the virus, once evidence is found the country will be made aware.

In the meantime, he noted that although concerning, new variants of COVID-19 should always be expected, given that the majority of the world’s population has not been vaccinated against it.

He said this is among the reasons the Government is forging ahead with the national vaccination programme to get the majority of the Jamaican population inoculated.

“Today is the Montego Bay leg of my tour to communities to promote the vaccination message. We have [already] done Hanover, we have done Westmoreland, the Prime Minister has done St. Thomas and parts of Kingston,” Dr. Tufton explained.

The Minister indicated that more vaccines will arrive in the island later this week as the Government ramps up vaccination activities across the country.


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