Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, says the country has not recorded any reinfection of persons previously confirmed with the coronavirus (COVID-19) to date.
She was responding to a question at the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ weekly COVID Conversations digital press conference on Thursday (August 20).
“It is still a fairly new virus. Even seven to eight months later it is still too early to give definite answers about these matters, because we do have to follow patients over time.
“When we discharge somebody from isolation, we do review them 14 days later, and we do continue to monitor these persons. We have not had any case in Jamaica where we have thought that there was any kind of reinfection,” the CMO said.
She noted that there may be cases of persons remaining positive long after they have been infected. “We know that some persons, up to 65 days, in our own experience, have remained with a positive test,” she said.
The CMO noted, however, that these persons are not able to transmit the virus at that time, but they usually have inactive viral particles that still give a positive test.
“You may have persons who have tested after they have been discharged and have been found to be positive. We would not consider that to be a reinfection. You may also have persons who have remained symptomatic and have a resurgence of their symptoms, but they have not actually cleared the virus,” she explained.
On Thursday, Jamaica recorded its highest number of positive COVID-19 cases over a 24-hour period, with 98 persons testing positive, bringing the total number of cases to date to 1,290.
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 number of deaths to 15.