JAM | May 8, 2023

Ministry of Health urges vigilance against COVID-19 despite WHO’s declaration

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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The Ministry of Health and Wellness is urging Jamaicans to remain vigilant of the COVID-19 virus despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent declaration that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a public health emergency of international concern.

In a release today (May 8) the Ministry said that they have acknowledged the WHO’s declaration. However, they are still urging citizens to remain vigilant because of the country’s recent increase in respiratory illness. The circulating viruses include COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday (May 5) said he made the decision to end the public health emergency for COVID following a recommendation from the WHO’s emergency committee.

“I have accepted that advice,” Tedros said. “It is therefore with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency.”

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS)

The meeting highlighted the decreasing trend in COVID-19 deaths, the decline in COVID-19-related hospitalization, and intensive care unit admissions. They also noted that high levels of the population are immune to SARS-CoV-2.

However, Jamaica continues to record new cases of the COVID-19 virus. The latest weekly virus update showed 46 new cases recorded between April 18 and 24 this year. Jamaica has recorded more than 102,000 COVID cases since March 2020.

There have also been more than 3,000 COVID- related deaths recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, and 350 deaths are under investigation.


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