Speech

Madam Speaker, let me begin with a situational analysis of the pandemic in Jamaica.

On the graph displayed, the solid black line which is now appearing shows the cumulative number of cases (7,109) as at yesterday, October 5, 2020.

 

Unfortunately, since our first case, we have had one hundred and twenty three (123) deaths, as depicted by the red line. I pause here to offer my sincere condololences to the families and friends of the deceased. One life lost is one too many. The passing of our loved ones is further compounded by not being able to be with them when they are ailing or to mourn together at a funeral service makes it even more difficult. It affects us psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. In giving this overview; each number represents a life that has been affected and not merely a statistic. We project these graphs today with deep empathy as we continue to track the progression of the virus in an effort to emphasize the importance of the infection control and prevention measures.

The green line that you are now seeing shows that we have had 2,674 persons who have recovered. Our recovery rate is now 37.6%.

The final line in this graph (which is the blue line) shows that we have 4,216 active cases; that is the number of persons who still have the virus.

As of yesterday, we had 140 persons hospitalized, with 39 being moderately ill and 12 critically ill. We also have 5 persons quarantined in a government facility and 22,385 persons quarantined at home.

Madam Speaker, in order to best manage the pandemic we must track what is happening globally. Let us now examine how we have done relative to other countries. For purposes of this comparison, we have analysed the performance of all countries in different population bands –

• less than one million (such as Barbados, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Iceland)
• one to 10 million (such as Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Panama, Israel, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, El Salvador)
• 10 to 50 million (such as Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile);
• over 50 million (such as South Korea, Kenya, Italy, United Kingdom, USA, Nigeria, Brazil).

We have separated China and India due to their disproportinate impact on the averages. The most relevant group to compare ourselves with, Madam Speaker, is of course the 1 – 10 million population group.

The graph now displayed shows how Jamaica compares in relation to total confirmed cases of COVID-19 per million of population.

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