Jamaica reports presence of Omicron BA4 and BA5 sub-variants, confirms University of West Indies
Jamaica reports presence of Omicron BA4 and BA5 sub-variants, confirms University of West Indies

Jamaica: The Ministry of Health and Wellness has been advised that the latest gene sequencing performed at the University of the West Indies identified the presence of the Omicron BA.4 and BA5 sub-variants in Jamaica.

Eighty-seven (57) samples were sequenced with sequenced with sample dates from May 13 to July 11, 2022. All were identified as the Omicron variant. Of the 87 samples with sequencing, 8 (9 percent) were BA.5 and 5 (6 percent) were BA.4 sub-variants.

National Epidemiologist, Dr Karen Webster Kerr cautioned that “the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 according to World’s Health Organisation (WHO) is the dominant variant globally and are highly transmissible. As a result, there may be an increase in number of COVID-19 cases.”

The general public is encouraged to practice infection prevention and control measures, including wearing of masks, hand washing, physical distancing and staying home if you are sick.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness reminds the public that vaccines are widely available and protects against severe illness. All persons 12 years and older should visit any of the over 200 vaccination centres to be vaccinated if they have not already done so. Persons who are eligible for boosters are encouraged to take the booster dose now as their level of protection may have wanted over time.

As of August 1, 2022 (Monday), Confirmed cases reported were 73, which took the total tally 146,541. Out of the total, number of females and males were 41 and 32, respectively, taking the total to 84,560 and 61,978. In last 24 hours, deaths reported were 1 and the total deaths registered in the country are 3,195.