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The total number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Jamaica now stands at 1,290, with 98 persons testing positive as at Thursday (August 20).

At the same time, 16 more patients have recovered from the virus, increasing the number of recoveries to 788, and one person has died from the virus within the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 15.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, gave the update during the Ministry’s weekly COVID Conversations digital press conference on Thursday (August 20).

He said that of the newly confirmed cases, 46 are females and 52 are males with ages ranging from four to 80 years.

The cases were recorded in Kingston and St. Andrew (53), St. Catherine (17), Clarendon (7), St. Thomas (5), St. James (4), Manchester (4), St. Mary (3), St. Ann (3), and Westmoreland (2).

Ten of the 98 new cases are imported, with eight arriving from the United States of America (USA), and two from India; seven are contacts of confirmed cases; 80 are under investigation; and there is one local transmission not epidemiologically linked.

Minister Tufton informed that 10 of the new cases are from the backlog of samples.

Of the 1,290 cases of COVID-19 in the island to date, 429 are imported; 404 are contacts of confirmed cases; 104 are local transmission not epidemiologically linked; 236 are related to the workplace cluster in St. Catherine; and 117 are under investigation.

Of all confirmed cases 692 (54%) are females and there are 598 (46%) males, with ages ranging from two months to 88 years.

So far, 50,683 samples have been tested, with 49,279 negative and 114 pending. In the last 24 hours, 1,468 new samples were tested.

In addition, there are 416 active cases under observation. There are eight moderately ill patients and one person who is critically ill.

Nine persons of interest are in quarantine at government facilities, while 28,741 are in home quarantine.

Meanwhile, as it relates to Albion and Seaforth in St. Thomas, which were placed under quarantine on Thursday, Dr. Tufton said the communities have seen 13 new cases over the last three weeks.

“Many of the cases are symptomatic, which is a cause for concern and suggests that there may be ongoing transmission in the communities,” he noted.

The quarantine period in the communities will run for 14 days ending September 2.

Sandy Bay in Clarendon and Lower Summit, Church Corner and Bamboo River in St. Thomas were placed under quarantine on August 6, due to a jump in cases of the virus in the areas, and the period has since been extended to September 2.

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