Jamaica has recorded 27 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which brings the total number to 223.
This update was given by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, on Monday (April 20), during a virtual press conference at Jamaica House.
“Of those 27 new cases, 19 are females [and] eight are males, and 26 of them are linked to the [Alorica] Portmore workplace cluster. There are now 34 imported cases, six are local transmission with no epidemiological link, 47 are contacts of confirmed cases and 136 are under investigation,” the Minister said.
“Of that 136 persons, 120 have been identified within that workplace cluster in Portmore, in addition to 16 other cases,” he added.
So far, 1,889 samples have been tested, with 223 positive and 1,655 negative, and 11 are pending.
In terms of isolation and recovery, there are 128 persons in isolation and 24 in quarantine in a government-operated facility.
The Government has reiterated that masks must be worn to prevent contracting the virus and spreading it.
With this increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, Jamaica could be on the brink of experiencing a community spread.
Holness said with Jamaica expecting community spread, new curfew Orders will be put in place.
“We have examined the curfews, and as I’ve said, they have worked very well [in the past], but given the phase we’re in, the potential now of community spread, we believe that we had to tighten the curfews,” Holness said.
“The Cabinet considered it carefully and on the advice of the security forces and the health considerations from the Ministry of Health [and Wellness] we have some new curfew hours, islandwide,” he said.
For the next 14 days, beginning Wednesday, April 22, new islandwide curfews will be from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily.