- A total of 13,813 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in Jamaica, to date, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
- "Our testing numbers have gone up and have been up fairly significantly," he said.
- He noted that 199 samples were tested over the last 24 hours, two of which were repeat samples.
A total of 13,813 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in Jamaica, to date, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
“Our testing numbers have gone up and have been up fairly significantly,” he said.
He noted that 199 samples were tested over the last 24 hours, two of which were repeat samples.
Of the total tests done to date, 591 are positive, 13,190 have returned negative results and 32 results are still pending.
Dr. Tufton was speaking at a ‘COVID Conversations’ virtual briefing on Thursday (June 4), at the Ministry’s office in New Kingston.
National Epidemiologist, Dr. Karen Webster, said that Jamaica has been doing “very well” in terms of testing and surveillance.
“When we look globally, among 313 countries and territories… Jamaica was 126, and when we looked at the number of tests per population Jamaica was 128,” she noted.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that if our positivity rate is less than five per cent then our testing is good and Jamaica’s positivity rate is 4.3,” she added.
She noted that some of the island’s neighbours have positivity rates of between seven and 13, while others are doing better with a 1.6 positivity rate.
In terms of surveillance, Dr. Webster said “we have our surveillance case notification, which is our class one notifiable disease system or case investigation, and we have established a respiratory surveillance system, which has been enhanced for COVID-19”.
“Additionally, we do case investigation and contact tracing, healthcare worker surveillance, and there is a tourist establishment surveillance, which will become even more important in the coming days. There is general hospital surveillance, where we look at admissions to hospitals, and surveillance in special settings, which would include the infirmaries,” she pointed out.
Dr. Webster said there is also participatory surveillance, which includes the hotlines and the JamCOVID appointment system, as well as other methods targeted at special groups.
“These systems are important. When we look at the WHO recommendations, we get a tick for everything, because we are on the ball with what is expected for countries’ surveillance systems to do,” she noted.
In terms of case fatality rate, she said that Jamaica is at 1.6 per cent, compared to some other countries, where the rate is as high as 14.3 per cent.