Jamaica tops English-speaking Caribbean in COVID-19 testing

Testing, testing and more testing continues to be the mantra for the single-most important action to take if countries want to move past the coronavirus pandemic.

Jamaica tops the English-speaking Caribbean for the number of COVID-19 tests conducted.

It is a mantra Jamaica has taken seriously, ranking first in the English-speaking Caribbean for the number of COVID-19 tests conducted.

National epidemiologist, Dr Karen Webster Kerr, said that as of May 7, the island had conducted over 6,000 COVID-19 tests.

Jamaica has tested more people combined than Cayman and Bermuda who hold the second and third positions in the ranking.

However, Dr Webster Kerr said that the Cayman Islands surpassed Jamaica to take the top spot in terms of the number of tests per population, at 46,000 per million. Jamaica is ranked ninth with a figure of 2,024 per million. Jamaica has a population of 2.9 million, while the Cayman Islands has a population of 65,604.

Other countries in the region while reporting a low number of confirmed coronavirus cases are not testing as aggressively, something which a local researcher said could be problematic.

A local University of the West Indies ((UWI) researcher told BUZZ that testing people for coronavirus is important in helping to both diagnose individuals, and to understand how widely the virus has spread. 

“Testing is critical in helping to inform decisions on whether to tighten or relax social distancing measures,” he added.