All across the world, major countries including India, Spain, Italy and Brazil are battling third waves of COVID-19, which have produced more cases and more deaths.
The United States and the UK are attempting to achieve herd immunity before another wave of the virus, and in the Caribbean, Jamaica is also preparing for the possibility of another spike.
Dr. Christopher Tufton, the minister of health and wellness, said that the COVID-19 situation across the globe has shown that another wave of the virus is likely to hit the island. He said that while Jamaica’s strict COVID-19 measures have worked, a third wave would be much worse than the first two.
“This is not an attempt to scare the population. But I think the narrative must be very clear, that whether it is through self-regulation or through policy or enforcement, the possibility of a third wave of the virus is real. We see other countries predicting it and so, we aren’t immune… A third wave would likely be worse than the second,” he said.
His comments were echoed by Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie who said that Jamaica should learn from countries that have relaxed their measures and are now battling another wave of the virus.
“We see several countries, such as Germany, Italy, Hungary, France, Poland, Spain, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Peru and Iran, that have gone into third phases because as soon as there was a decrease in the number of cases, persons started to become complacent”.
“Now is the time that we have to ensure that we take the precautions, that we continue to maintain our restrictions. We have to decrease exposure, wear our masks, keep physical distancing, stay at home, avoid gatherings – social and business – so that we can keep our reproductive rates down, keep our positivity rate down, keep our hospitalisations down,” she noted.
Dr Bisasor-McKenzie warned that cases could double and deaths could triple if Jamaica should see another wave of COVID-19.
She said that with the highly contagious UK strain of the virus now spreading among the population, it is important that the strict measures remain in place and Jamaicans continue to follow the protocols.