Jamaica Defence Force Locks Down Facilities As Jamaica Sees Spike in COVID-19 Cases

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has announced a lockdown of all facilities as a second wave of COVID-19 begins on the island.

According to the JDF, the measure, that came into effect on Wednesday, is geared towards keeping soldiers in a safe and sterile environment int the wake of an increase in cases.

According to the JDF the confinement was imposed as four soldiers have tested positive for COVID-19, since the pandemic started in the island.

Of the cases, one has since recovered and the others are currently in isolation receiving treatment.

The JDF has sought to reassure the public that it has adequate isolation and treatment facilities to manage its current and any possible increase in cases.

It further says that it has adopted stringent sanitisation measures to help soldiers stay safe.

The JDF is just one of several entities on the island that have had to implement closures due to COVID-19. Other major entities: Digicel Jamaica, National Commercial Bank, Tax Authority of Jamaica (TAJ), Petrojam, Kingston and St. Andrew’s Health Department and Jamaica Customs have all recently had to close one or more of their offices and/or boost safety measures due to positive case(s) among their staff.

Yesterday at a press conference, Health Minister, Dr. Chris Tufton announced 98 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, with 10 cases as a result of a backlog. One new death was also announced. This is the largest number of cases that Jamaica has recorded for a 24-hour period.

The Corporate Area accounts for the majority of new cases, with 53 people returning positive results in Kingston, while five of the new cases are in St Thomas. In fact, two more St Thomas communities — Albion and Seaforth — were placed under quarantine. Of the other cases, St Catherine recorded 17; Clarendon, seven; St James, four; Manchester, four; St Mary, three; St Ann, three; and Westmoreland recorded two.

The health minister said 10 of the 98 new cases are imported, with eight of those individuals arriving from the United States of America and two from India.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie also said that the majority of new cases may be as a result of gatherings and parties held from August 1st to 6th- Jamaica’s Emanci-Pendence week. “So what we are actually seeing are probably resulting from activities that occurred over the holiday period of August 1 to 6… We know there were a number of gatherings and parties at that time, and we believe some of what is happening, two weeks later, is as a result of those activities there,” she stated.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jamaica is now 1,290 and 15 deaths.

Meanwhile, Dr Tufton advised that the Cabinet subcommittee on public health is expected to make a number of decisions based on the current COVID-19 surge.

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