Jamaicans urged to protect high-risk population

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Jamaicans urged to protect high-risk population

Friday, September 25, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, is renewing her call for Jamaicans to protect the nation's high-risk population by taking all precautions to prevent them from contracting COVID-19.

According to the CMO, these include the elderly and people with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, who are more likely to develop more severe illness from COVID-19.

“[It is] very important that you take all the precautions… Elderly people [for instance] are more likely to have a severe illness and have a poor outcome,” she said.

Speaking during a press conference yesterday, the CMO noted that in terms of people who have been monitored in hospital, 23 per cent have recovered to date.

“We still have in hospital 36 per cent of people or 67 people that we are monitoring, who are moderately to critically ill,” she said.

Dr Bisasor-McKenzie pointed out that the majority of COVID-19 cases show no or mild symptoms and many of these can be managed at home. She added that most people can recover with rest, fluids and medication for fever and mild respiratory symptoms.

“[Of the] 5,558 confirmed cases [to date], 96.6 per cent have been cases with no or mild symptoms. So only 3.3 per cent of cases have actually been moderate to severe illnesses and would've been monitored in hospital,” she noted.

She added that of the cases that have been monitored in hospital, only 0.35 per cent of those would have required ventilatory support.

The CMO urged citizens to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.

These include wearing a mask while in public, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other people, frequently washing or sanitising hands, and not gathering in groups of more than 15 people.

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