Fourth wave to reach at its peak in Jamaica by end of January: CMO

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie fears the fourth wave of COVID would be at its peak by end of January.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie.

Kingston, Jamaica: Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie fears the fourth wave of COVID would be at its peak by end of January. Expressing concern, she underscored Jamaica might reach a toll of 11,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Hospital occupancy is also expected to witness a continuous rise. In terms of hospitalizations, the number of occupied beds could rise up to 2,500, as per the estimation.

Talking about the transmissibility of Omicron, CMO asserted, “As per the reports coming across the world, shows that Omicron variant is proving to be a more transmissible virus & so the numbers are rapidly increasing in several nations, and we have begun to see that here”.

Furthermore, the CMO highlighted that the island is witnessing a soar in the daily COVID-19 infections and confirmed cases. The death rate might also increase to 200 -300 per week in the island. These elevated numbers is a serious threat to reviving the economy and the tourism sector.

“Based on the projections and present numbers, using the reproductive number, it could mean that we may take another 3 weeks or so to get to the peak of this fourth wave,” she added.

Following the statement, she warned that the hospitalizations among the children is also higher than ever, adding, “so this is something that we have to watch carefully”.

Apart from this, the CMO urged the general public to understand their responsibility and follow the COVID-19 health protocols & the guidelines established by the Jamaican government.

“You all have to wear your mask, maintain a physical distance in crowded spaces (at least 6 feet), wash your hands frequently and sanitize. Please stay at home if you are not well”.

She added that the island has a cluster of the COVID-19 cases, so if an individual feels sick, he/she must avoid going to their workplace and must avoid insignificant public gatherings as well as travel.