(CMR) The Ministry of Health and Wellness has confirmed the presence of the highly contagious Delta Variant of COVID-19 in Jamaica.
“We have received 40 results from the 60 samples sent to Caribbean Public Health Agency. Twenty-two (22) are positive for the Delta Variant,” Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton said.
“The epidemiology and laboratory teams are now doing further analysis to see if there is any particular significant factor related to the 22 identified. The public will be kept updated,” the Minister added.
According to the Jamaica Information Service, the confirmation of the presence of the variant comes as Jamaica recorded 289 new COVID-19 infections and confirmed 19 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of infections now moves to 59,377 since the first case was confirmed last year, while the total number of deaths stands at 1,339.
Meantime, hospitals across the country have exceeded their COVID-19 bed capacity while exhausted health care workers urge members of the public to stay vigilant in their practice of infection prevention and control measures, JIS reported.
Jamaica will tomorrow receive its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine from the US; children and teens will be prioritized for vaccination. The donation will be delivered in three shipments over three months, with an initial 204,000 doses to make up the first shipment, which should originally have arrived on Tuesday (August 17). Tropical Storm Grace delayed the arrival.
“It has never been more important for our people, including those 12 years and older, to get vaccinated,” encouraged Minister Tufton.
“The Pfizer vaccine has been proven safe and is approved for use in children and adolescents. I urge the public’s support for our efforts as we prioritize their vaccination in the coming days,” he added.