Jamaican Health Minister fears of COVID fourth wave, asks citizens to follow protocols

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Kingston, Jamaica: The Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, asked the general public to be more careful and to realise the urgency of safeguarding themselves as the fourth wave of COVID-19 approaches.  

He further highlighted the significance of getting vaccinated while noting that Jamaicans still have vaccine hesitancy. The vaccination rate of the island is much slower than it is anticipated. 

As per the PAHO Caribbean authorities, there were around 6 nations that failed to achieve their target of 40% vaccination coverage set by the World Health Organisation. This target was to be achieved by the countries before 2021 ends.

During the handover ceremony for COVID-19 home testing kits at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, the health minister was speaking on December 30, 2021. 

He asserted, “Even after the two years of COVID pandemic, we possess several available solutions; whether it is inoculation, testing or just information. This explains a level of continuity within our society; but also where we start to determine in favour of individuals who are already vaccinated”. 

The citizens must abide by the COVID19 protocols and the guidelines set by the Jamaican government for their safety only, Dr Tufton underscored, adding that, “Also, as people invite individuals to their houses, workspaces or at any other place. It is an individual responsibility that they must comply with stricter requirements as we confront this public health threat”.  

The Jamaican government is encouraging more citizens to get themselves immunised against the deadliest virus. Prime Minister Andrew Holness led administration has also launched an e-vaccination certificate. 

The Cabinet also made several amendments in the COVID-19 protocols, which led to the elimination of work-from-home, resulting in people returning back to office under stringent guidelines. 

As the new semester commences, more than 608 schools open doors for face-to-face classes, while other schools are still conducting online classes for the students.