Health minister warns that Delta variant will reach Jamaica

1 year ago

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton says it is only a matter of time before the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reaches the country.

He was speaking in Parliament this afternoon when he made the statement.

“We should not be complacent. We do believe that it is only a matter of time before the Delta strain gets here. It’s now the dominant strain in certain countries, including our main trading partners and I think it’s something that the country should be ceased with but we have not found evidence of it yet,” the minister said in response to questions from Opposition spokesman on health Dr Morais Guy, who asked whether or not any of the recent samples taken returned positive for the strain.

Tufton told Parliament that 100 samples are sent to three different locations each week for testing and so far, none has returned positive for the strain.

“The results we got last week — and there would be a two-week gap based on the time it takes to get the results — suggest that we did not find the Delta strain in those results. I think we got back 60 or so results but each week we will continue to report based on those results,” said Tufton.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the Delta variant is of concern because it has increased transmissibility and spreads among people more efficiently than even the Alpha variant that was first detected around December/January 2021. 

The variant has been reported in more than 90 countries and it is expected that it will continue to spread. 

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