The Ministry of Health is urging Jamaicans to remain vigilant in the wake of a surge in cases of respiratory illness.

The Ministry is warning that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry listed COVID-19, Influenza B, Influenza A and respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, as the predominant respiratory virus circulating in the country.

The Ministry says weekly visits to public health facilities for influenza-like illnesses have increased in children under 5-years-old.

This is the same for persons between the ages of 5 and 59.

According to the Health Ministry, admissions for severe acute respiratory illnesses have also increased in the past two weeks.

The Ministry says the highly transmissible Omicron variant and its sub-variants remain the most prevalent strain of the virus in the country.

As of Monday, April 17, there were 154-thousand, 7-hundred and 40 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jamaica and 3-thousand 5-hundred and 36 deaths.

The seven-day average positivity rate as of April 15, 2023, was 6-point-8 percent.

The Ministry is encouraging Jamaicans to continue to practice mask-wearing, and hand washing and to ensure they are constantly drinking fluids.

Meanwhile, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says the spike in respiratory illnesses is caused by a number of factors.

The Minister says COVID-19 precautions can also be applied by the public to protect themselves from influenza.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister.