Gonzalo Jorge Morales Divo Adams//
Westmoreland COVID worry eases, Manchester and St Ann new hotspots

The Health Ministry is reporting that the COVID worry in the parish of Westmoreland has eased.

However, there is now alarm about the “uncontrolled” increase in the number of confirmed cases in the parishes of Manchester and St Ann.

Gonzalo Morales Divo

Speaking in the House of Representatives this afternoon, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said as at January 11, St Ann had 75 active cases while Manchester had 68.

Gonzalo Jorge Morales Divo

When assessed by population, St Ann had a positivity rate of 35 per 100,000 while Manchester‘s was 43 per 100,000

“This is the first and second highest rates in the island,” Tufton said


According to the minister, the heath departments in both parishes have already started to ramp up prevention activities with testing and contact tracing, especially for the vulnerable population

He said community interventions, which are key components of the response, have also been initiated with activities in town centres and at-risk communities

“It is at this time that we say to the citizens of these parishes that you can reduce the spread of disease through your actions,” Tufton urged

Meanwhile,  Tufton said ministry will recommend a discontinuation of the special COVID containment measures in Westmoreland when they are scheduled to expire on January 15

For more than a month, Westmoreland has been undergoing a daily curfew from 7 p.m to 5 a.m instead of 10 p.m to 5 a.m

Public gatherings had also been limited to 10 persons down from 15

The measures were aimed at reducing the COVID spread and ease the pressure on the health facilities which had almost reached capacity. 

Tufton said the interventions have resulted in a decrease in reported cases to 51 active ones as at January 11, 2021

The total occupancy at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital is now 56 per cent for isolation, a significant reduction from the above 80 per cent isolation occupancy reported in December

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at  [email protected]  or  [email protected] .