Jamaica’s Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Surpass 200; Borders Closed Until May 31

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jamaica increased by 27 on Monday, bringing the tally to 223.

This was announced by Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton during a press briefing at Jamaica House late Monday, CaribbeanNewsWeekly reports.

Of the new 27 cases, 19 are female and eight are male and 26 of those are linked the Alorica – a business process outsourcing (BPO) entity in the central parish of St Catherine.

The Ministry of Health says 34 cases were imported; six are local transmissions with no epidemiological link, 47 are contacts of confirmed cases and 136 are under investigation. There is also one additional confirmed death, which brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths to six.

Of the 136 cases under investigation 120 are associated with Alorica.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has tightened curfew hours islandwide as the country tackles the pandemic.

Holness said the new daily curfew hours will run from 6:00 pm (local time) each day until 6:00 am the following day.

The new 12-hour daily curfew will commence on Wednesday, at 6:00 pm and run for 14 days.

The prime minister also ordered that work hours be restricted to 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Supermarkets, pharmacies and corner shops will be allowed to close at 5:00 pm., while markets will operate from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm except on Sundays when they will be closed.

In addition, he said it is now mandatory for all Jamaicans to wear a mask in public spaces.

Jamaica’s borders will remain closed to incoming passengers until May 31. Prime Minister Holness said a protocol to allow the controlled re-entry of Jamaicans is now being undertaken. Jamaicans that will be allowed to enter the island will have to be tested and quarantined, more than likely in a state facility.