Barbados reports newest JN1 COVID-19 strain, following local variant testing

Barbados has reported a new and fast-spreading case of COVID-19, the JN1 (a sub-variant of Omicron). The news has been confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. 

In picture: The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George. (Credits: Sean Wilkinson, Facebook)
In picture: The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George. (Credits: Sean Wilkinson, Facebook)

Barbados has reported a new and fast-spreading case of COVID-19, the JN1 (a sub-variant of Omicron). The Ministry of Health and Wellness has confirmed the news. 

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George, emphasized that the mask mandate has not been reimposed, but he urged the public to follow general precautionary measures to prevent the spread of respiratory disease. 

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It is to be added in the remarks of Dr George that vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, pregnant women and those who are suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases are at high risk. 

He further suggested they take proper care of themselves and immediately seek medical aid if they discover any related symptoms of COVID-19 or respiratory disease. 

According to the Chief Medical Officer’s information, the Best dos Santos Public Health Laboratory had the capacity to test for many of the new respiratory viruses and strains of COVID-19 that were in circulation. 

In this regard, the Government Information Service issued a statement that they conducted a local variant testing camp, which enabled them to discover the newest strain of COVID-19, the JN1 (a sub-variant of Omicron). 

Noting this, the camp was organized following an increase in the incidence of respiratory illness, which included Influenza A and B and COVID-19. 

The Ministry further reminded people that although COVID-19 is no longer a matter of international public health concern, the transmission of the virus has not stopped yet. Therefore, testing and monitoring for COVID-19 variants continues in the island nation. 

Furthermore, the Ministry reassures the public of its intention to remain steadfast in its efforts to advise on COVID-19 developments, as it remains dedicated to safeguarding public health, 

Additionally, people across the nation took to their Facebook handles to express their concerns regarding the rise of COVID-19 and Influenza cases.

While reacting to the news, a person named Helen Tulip commented, “Wear your masks people especially when you are in supermarkets.”

Adding to the facts, such circumstances will have a huge impact on tourism in Barbados. Tourists will be afraid to visit the island nation, which somehow affects the economy of the country to some extent. Therefore, people are advised to follow precautionary measures to deal with the illness.