JM | Jan 25, 2022

Omicron variant’s presence officially confirmed in Jamaica

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

A Jamaican endures a nasopharyngeal test to determine COVID-19 infection. The past 48 hours have been calamitous for Jamaica as the island shattered its daily COVID case count record twice—and it’s just the first week of January 2022.

Effectively erasing all speculation, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) says the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed spreading among the local population in Jamaica.

Press secretary Naomi Francis, in a tweet on Tuesday (January 25), said the variant was detected in roughly 93 per cent of samples screened.

It was not immediately clear, however, if the variant-positive samples were from persons with a history of travel.

“PM @AndrewHolnessJM announces the #OmicronVarient of #COVID19 has been confirmed in Jamaica. Of 43 samples tested 40 returned positive for the new variant,” Francis wrote.

(Photo: Twitter @PressSecOPMJa)

Jamaica recorded 754 new COVID-positive infections over the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative caseload to 121,436.

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the island’s positivity rate hovers at 46 per cent, with 13,004 active cases currently being managed.

Indicative of the ongoing spike, new cases were confirmed in all 14 parishes, as Kingston and St Andrew (187), St Catherine (136), St James (76), St Elizabeth (71) and Westmoreland (68) accounted for the five-greatest number of infections.

Some 68,551 recoveries have been recorded to date, while COVID-related complications have claimed the lives of 2,609 Jamaicans.

Additionally, a total of 559 persons are hospitalised at this time, whereas 117 patients are deemed ‘moderately ill’, 60 categorised as ‘severely ill’ and 24 more classified as ‘critically ill’.


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