Stevian Simmonds reports

The Prime Minister is expected to announce new anti-COVID-19 restrictions soon, in response to a record spike in the number of positive COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Health and Wellness Ministry yesterday reported that the total number of hospitalizations, including confirmed and suspected positive cases, stands at 35″ and “includes eight patients who are moderately ill”.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie, says this marks a change in the pandemic in Jamaica.

And, Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness has been briefed and could re-impose some of the earlier anti-COVID-19 restrictions.

Jamaica has now recorded 9-hundred and 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Dr Bisasor McKenzie says while the country isn’t yet at the stage of community spread, there are serious concerns about local transmission.

She says at the initial stages everyone testing positive was being admitted to hospital, whether or not they presented symptoms.

But now she says, only symptomatic patients need to be admitted to hospitals.

She says some exposures are going undetected.

Minister Tufton says since July, some 55-thousand persons have been allowed entry into the country, 60-per cent of them are Jamaicans.

He says some 23-thousand people are in home quarantine but many are not adhering to the orders.

Dr Tufton says the coronavirus remains a growing concern.

The Health Minister says he’s also concerned that many COVID-19 patients are self-medicating and are presenting to hospitals when it’s too late.