The Ministry of Health which today confirmed that Jamaica is now in the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is reporting that a one month boy is in critical condition after contracting the virus. The Ministry has also noted an uptick in the number of children testing positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Nadeen Williams, Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, disclosed that the infant has significant comorbidities «which would render him to be more at risk». In addition, one of two others designated as severely ill is a child at one-year-old who has severe heart disease as well as comorbidities. Dr. Williams pointed out that there had been a «significant decrease» in the number of people severely ill, however, there has been a «mild uptick» over the last three weeks. Jamaica recorded 147 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday from 2,196 samples. This resulted in a positivity rate of 17.6 per cent. Hospitalisations have increased to 79. Two more deaths from the virus have been confirmed, increasing the death toll to 3,013. Another death is being investigated by the Health Ministry. Medium level pressure The Health Ministry said there has been medium level pressure on the public health system despite the increase in COVID-19 cases. National Epidemiologist Dr. Karen Webster Kerr, who also spoke at the media briefing on Wednesday, reported that admissions are not as sharp as in the previous wave. «When we look at the hospital admission and looking both on the confirmed and suspected cases, for the fifth wave so far, there is a gentler increase in cases and currently, the number of confirmed cases [is] now increasing as well for those who are admitted. So when we look at the pressure on the health system for admissions, it is around medium level for admissions. As it relates to the positivity rate, Dr. Webster Kerr said for the fifth wave, this is increasing at a «gentler rate than previously seen in wave four where it was a sharper increase in the positivity». Gov’t will take action if necessary Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said action will be taken if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases. Speaking with Radio Jamaica News on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Holness said the government will continue to monitor the situation and «if the data tells us that we have to act, then we will act». However, he indicated that it was not the government’s «posture or position right now to seek to do anything that would disrupt the recovery and the return to normalcy» considering the challenges facing the economy. «We have to maintain a posture of being resilient, being able to respond to shocks, being able to respond to crises without causing dislocation or resorting to extreme positions of locking down,» he insisted.
LINK ORIGINAL: RJR News