The Ministry of Health and Wellness is monitoring the uptick in COVID-19 cases and continues to urge persons, particularly the most vulnerable, to take the necessary precautions.
“Our message continues to be if you are vulnerable, if you are in doubt, if you are concerned, to see your doctor,” said portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
“There are infection-prevention and control mechanisms that are standard operating procedures. [These include] mask-wearing, sanitising, avoiding crowds, particularly if you fall in the vulnerable category – over 65, people with underlying conditions, cancers… front-line workers,” he noted.
Dr. Tufton was addressing today’s (July 19) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in St. Andrew.
He said that while the number of confirmed cases has increased, there has not been a significant rise in the number of deaths.
“Every death is regrettable, of course, but the fact that we’re seeing increases in positivity, it means that it will have an impact on hospitalisation and bed occupancy. And the fact that people are in hospital means the probability of people dying will increase. So, we can’t take it lightly,” he noted.
He said that overall daily hospitalisations, which was running at more than 100 cases last week, is at 130 confirmed and suspected cases this week.
In addition, isolation ward occupancy at hospitals is now at 30 per cent of available space when compared to 20 per cent last week.
The number of persons classified as moderately ill has moved from 13 to 22 in one week. Two people are severely ill and there are no critically ill cases.
Emphasising the need for persons to take precautions against COVID-19, Dr. Tufton said the general policy thrust in Jamaica and the rest of the world is that “we are learning to live with COVID”.