Jamaica on Monday recorded its highest one-day COVID-19 total with 879 new cases reported within a 24-hour period.
It breaks the previous record of 878 cases set in March.
The total number of active cases on the island now surpasses 13,000. On Monday, the country also reported 14 new COVID-19 deaths, pushing the death toll to 1,402. Some 607 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.
Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness has urged all eligible Jamaicans to take the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that most of the infected persons now hospitalized are unvaccinated.
“The unquestioned fact is that 99 percent of those persons who are occupying those 700 beds …in hospitals, were not vaccinated,” he noted.
Mr. Holness said the science suggests that the risk of an adverse or fatal outcome from COVID-19 infection is “very low” for persons who are inoculated.
Holness said the Government now has sufficient doses to inoculate a significant number of persons, and established measures to replenish the stock of vaccines. He noted, however, that hesitancy and reluctance were hindering a number of persons from getting vaccinated.
“I am [however] confident that for those persons who are skeptical, who are unsure but reasonable minded, that our reasoning with them will work,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Holness also urged influential persons, such as entertainers and church leaders, to encourage more Jamaicans to take the vaccine.
He made the appeal during Thursday’s (August 19) virtual press conference, where he outlined a lockdown of the country for a total of seven days.
The days of no movement days are Sunday, August 22; Monday, August 23; Tuesday, August 24; Sunday, August 29; Monday, August 30; Tuesday, August 31; and Sunday, September 5.
Additionally, no funeral services will be permitted between August 25 and September 7, while only 15 persons, including officiating clergy, gravediggers, and undertakers, will be allowed to attend burials over the period.
Meanwhile, no more than 20 persons will be permitted to physically attend weddings.