The Health Ministry has confirmed five additional cases of COVID19 on the island.

Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says this brings the total number of cases to 478.

Dr. Tufton was speaking last evening at a COVID-19 virtual media briefing.

He says, so far, 8 more persons have recovered bringing the total number of recoveries to 57.

The Health Minister also gave an update on inspections being conducted on call centres operated by Business Process Outsourcing, BPO, companies.

The BPO sector has been identified as a high risk environment for the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness.

COVID-19 Testing Protocol To Expand

Meanwhile, Minister Tufton says COVID-19 testing will soon be expanded to encompass all patients who enter the public health system.

Speaking last evening, Dr. Tufton said a number of options are being considered to increase testing.

Dr. Tufton says in another week people interested in testing can apply on the JAMCOVID19 website.

However, Dr. Tufton once again defended the testing protocols which have been used so far.

The seemingly low number of tests have been increasingly questioned by the Opposition PNP.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness.

Auditor General To Review COVID-19 Expenditure.

And, Dr. Tufton says the Auditor General will be auditing the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 expenditure.

He says the Ministry will comply fully with the audit.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness.

In the meantime, National Epidemiologist, Dr. Karen Webster-Kerr, says Jamaica is ranked high among other Caribbean nations in terms of rate of testing.

She explained the most common symptoms most persons experience.

And Dr Webster Kerr says the Ministry is also moving to determine whether there’s community transmission, by ramping up testing activities.

Dr Karen Webster Kerr, National Epidemiologist, speaking last evening at a virtual media conference.