This Caribbean Country Passes 8,000 COVID-19 Cases – Updated

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Founder of NovaMed, Dr David Walcott, pools together samples from a group of patients to perform testing and detection of the coronavirus (COVID-19) at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Laboratory. (Contributed photo)
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 15, 2020: The Caribbean island of Jamaica has now passed 8,000 cases of COVID 19.

The country added another 78 new cases in 24 hours as it also hit another milestone – 160 deaths to date. Nine more new deaths have been reported – to take the island to the 160 mark. More women continue to be infected than men by the virus with the majority of infections still in the Kingston/St Andrew parish. There are 4,426 active cases on the island, with 18 serious or critical. Some 3,481 have recovered.

The news comes as the country’s Ministry of Health and Wellness says it will be procuring supplies of the antiviral drug Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 infection in public facilities. The move comes amid public cries for greater access to the drug. So far, the drug has not received full approval in any country but is being utilized under “emergency use authorization” in some countries.

Travelling To Jamaica

Meanwhile, Jamaica on Oct. 10th announced revised measures for international travelers visiting the island. These new processes make the required online Travel Authorization application more seamless for visitors while still maintaining stringent health protocols. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has also expanded acceptable testing categories allowing travelers to choose between presenting a negative COVID-19 Antigen test, or a negative PCR test. Testing must be performed by an accredited lab and results must be presented to the air carrier prior to boarding a flight to Jamaica as well as upon arrival.

This process replaces the prior requirement for travelers to upload COVID-19 test results as part of the Travel Authorization process. Current high-risk areas include the Us, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama.

Tests results should be no more than ten (10) days old, measured from the day the sample was taken to the day of arrival in Jamaica. Tests must be performed at a lab accredited by national health authorities such as the World Health Organization, the Food & Drug Administration or the Pan American Health Organization. Only swab COVID-19 PCR or Antigen tests are acceptable.

All visitors will still be screened upon arrival in Jamaica via thermal temperature checks, symptom observation and a brief interview with a Health Officer. Business travelers will receive a swab test at the airport, and must remain in quarantine until results are available.

The current process will be in effect through October 31st. In addition to the revised entry measures, travelers are now able to visit COVID-compliant attractions located inside and outside of the Resilient Corridors, using transportation licensed under the Tourist Board Act. The new measures also allow visitors to stay in multiple accommodation options within the Resilient Corridors, enabling travelers to explore more of Jamaica.

For more information on the Travel Authorization, visit www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization.