Prime Minister Andrew Holness is cautioning the nation to expect a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Jamaica in the coming weeks.
Jamaica currently has 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 51 patients are currently in isolation facilities.
The Prime Minister said this conclusion was drawn based on the surveillance conducted by the health team, and what’s been happening globally.
“Jamaica is currently rapidly approaching the phase of community transmission. Usually, this is the period of time when you see an escalation in the number of cases, or you might see an increased panic in the population as the cases continue to rise,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
Holness indicated it would be the last press conference of that nature.
“If you have not yet recognized that these are not normal times then I encourage you to read more, pay attention to the news, and if you don’t believe in what the government is doing, then look at what other governments around the world are doing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-Mckenzie said the spiral in these cases would be caused by persons who were undetected.
“What it means is that those persons who may have been undetected so far within the system in terms of persons coming into the country and not being detected, or persons who may have travelled into areas of the country where you may have imported cases and gone into other areas of the country, will now start popping up and it is difficult to identify who it is that they are linked with,” she said.
“Once we start identifying cases like this in one part of the island, the assumption is that this is happening across the island and therefore we expect more will pop up,” she added.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister reiterated calls for Jamaicans to practise social distancing and good hygiene.
“It is a very serious situation. It is a time for responsible action,” he said.