Hundreds could die a week in Jamaica’s third COVID wave – Bisasor Mckenzie

A third wave of the COVID-19 virus seems inevitable with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie projecting that as many as 180 persons could die in a single week.

Bisasor-McKenzie made the alarming revelation at a media briefing on Thursday (April 29).

Despite acknowledging that transmission had been slowing in recent weeks, Bisasor-McKenzie said a third wave was likely.

However, the CMO noted that the country should continue to work on getting the positivity rate down, so as to mitigate against the impact of the potentially severe third wave. 

“Our starting point is not going to be as low as it was in August, last year, or even in December of last year, we’re going to have higher starting points that are going to result in possibly very, very high rates, where we could have the possibility of as much as 10,700 cases in the peak week compared to 4000 cases in the peak week of the second wave. And just over 1000 cases in the peak week of the first wave,” said Bisasor McKenzie.

“It means also that as the number of cases go up, then we could have deaths going as much as 180 deaths that could occur in a peak week; where we had 59 in week 11, which was the peak week of the second wave. We had 31 in week 41 of 2020, which was the peak week of the first wave. Now, 180 deaths in one week is something that we would not want to see. It means also that there’s going to be severe stress on our beds. And where we went up to 716 beds at peak, we could be going up to needing as much as 1,900 beds. Do we have 1900 beds? We do not,” added Bisasor McKenzie.

Bisasor McKenzie recommended that current restrictions remain in place if the country is to prevent a severe third wave.