Jamaica has now conducted 18,621 tests for the coronavirus (COVID-19), with a record 1,158 carried out in the last 24 hours.
“The 1,158 represents the largest number of results in any single day, and we want to commend the team for that. Of the 18,621 samples tested, there are 638 positives, 17,926 negatives and we have 57 cases that are pending,” Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said.
The Minister, who was speaking on Thursday (June 18) at the COVID Conversation virtual press in Kingston, argued that the increase in testing was a significant development, given the Government’s recent move to open up the borders to Jamaican nationals and non-nationals, which has resulted in the need for more tests.
According to Dr. Tufton, who reported that 12 persons had tested positive in the last 24 hours, from June 1 to 16 the bulk of nationals coming in were from the United States, and that following testing, 27 were confirmed positive for the virus, and three from the United Kingdom and four from Canada.
“Of course, the bulk of persons coming in are from the US, so we would have expected more [cases] from the US. It is also interesting to look at where these persons originated, because it gives an idea of where risks may be greater, and the intention is to juxtapose that against some of the data coming out of these countries and specifically the geographic location of these countries. It confirms some of the statistics that we’re getting in terms of our own nationals coming,” Dr. Tufton explained.
“So, in the case of New York, for example, there are 15 cases, and that’s where a number of Jamaicans reside. And of course, New York is still experiencing its own challenges and, in a sense, the New York area presents a slightly higher risk than some of the other states,” he added.
The Minister further informed that Florida had the second highest number of positive cases, with nine, while Texas, Arizona and North Carolina had one each.
“The bulk of the numbers fall in the age category 30 to 59, with 30 to 39 representing the highest (9), but not very much higher than 40 to 49 (8) and 50 to 59 (8). For the 60 to 75 age group, there were five cases,” the Minister noted.