Tighter COVID restrictions for Jamaica-August 10, 2021

Media briefing by the PM last night covered a wide range of COVID-related issues:

COVID trends have worsened, as I noted in my post yesterday:

Curfew hours are to be lengthened from August 11 through 31. Gathering restrictions will be tightened, including beaches, rivers, places of worship, and gyms.

No permits will be given for entertainment events.

Schools reopening will depend on what happens in next 3 weeks.

Signs of global inequality: vaccines aren’t there for all-June 28, 2021

Another vaccination blitz and improving COVID trends-June 11, 2021

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Chris Tufton’s ‘COVID Conversation’ last night focused on improving COVID trends, especially much lower positivity rates, and another round of vaccination blitzes, that began last weekend and will continue for the next two weekends. Particular focus is on getting second doses given; so far, some 28,000 have had second doses.

Jamaica, COVID trends and vaccination update-May 13, 2021

Health and wellness minister’s ‘COVID conversation’, this evening, focused on the vaccinations push, whose push has stalled pending more supplies.

He reported that 146,000 have gotten their first doses:

Over 50s can now get their vaccine doses:

Second doses are being administered, but supplies available are still not adequate, but another 60,000 doses are due to arrive in coming weeks.

The rebroadcast of the ‘conversation’ and the overall picture of COVID infection are in the thread below:

New COVID restrictions in Jamaica through end-June 2-May 5, 2021

PM Andrew Holness announced new restrictions for the period throuhg June 2, covering the Memorial Day holiday in late May:

While most restritions are unchanged, schools will go back to in-person for certain examinees from May 10.

Also, the travel ban from the UK has been lifted, while a ban has been placed on travel from Trinidad & Tobago.

Many are against renewed visitors from the UK not least because of the UK variant, and despite the UK making good progress with vaccinations, but are mindful that a previous surge had possible origins in the resumption of travel from the UK.

COVID vaccine hesitancy in the USA as herd immunity seems unlikely-May 3, 2021

It’s more than ironic that as more vaccines have been rolled out, and major developed countries grabbed the bulk of those, we find they are now the major problem to overcoming COVID. They’ve done well to get 1st vaccines to the bulk of their populations in some cases, and must now get the job done of giving 2nd doses. Here’s where they are hitting a wall of ‘vaccination hesitancy’. The USA has now about 30% of it population fully vaccinated against COVID. Daily vaccinations are declining from about 3 million to 2.5 million. The ‘hesitancy’ map for that is interesting for its apparent clustering:

CDC also has an interactive map:

Wyoming has been flagged as having the worst cast of hesitancy, about 32%:

So, the risk facing the USA now is that, even with its fast roll-out, the sought for ‘herd immunity’ is now less likely. The needed rate was about 70%, but with variants spreading, a number nearer 80% seems needed.

We heard that CVS and Walgreen’s have wasted more vaccines that most states combined.

Meanwhile, those of us in the rest of the world are just desperate to get a substantial stock of vaccines, and are imploring the USA to let us have some of the 60 million AstraZeneca doses they’ve so far said they’ll offer other countries, once it receives federal approval.

COVID-19 in Jamaica: Wary of a Third Wave-May 2, 2021

This excellent summary of the still-high concerns about the possibility of a 3rd COVID ‘wave’/‘surge’ in Jamaica, by fellow blogger, Emma Lewis, is worth a careful read. Its points about reopening Jamaica’s borders, especially to the UK (in light of evidence that the UK variant was behind our current 2nd wave) point to the ongoing tussle over lives versus livelihoods.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness held one of their regular press briefings on April 29. It was not hard to detect a change of tone – and it was …

COVID-19 in Jamaica: Wary of a Third Wave

COVID update, Jamaica-April 30, 2021

Health and wellness minister, Dr. Chris Tufton gave a broad update on COVID trends, yesterday evening, including stressing the need for people to get their second vaccination, which are noted in the thread, below:

The chief medical officer, Dr. Jaqueline Bisasor-McKenzie, added an extensive assessment of how trends has been affected by various restrictive measures. She gave stark warnings that a third wave could occur if people ease off the protocols and it would likely be worse than the previous two.

It would likely push health services way beyond their capacity.

She cited a long list of countries that were in a third wave, though the worst situation is in India, having its 2nd wave, whose crisis now needed help from other countries.

With that background, Dr. Tufton pointed to confirmation that the ‘UK variant’ had been found in Jamaica and was perhaps behind the 2nd wave:

When asked about statements that flights from the UK would resume on May 1, he gave a circuitous reply, suggesting the decision had not yet been taken but was for consideration by Cabinet subcommittee over the coming weekend.

This clearly begs the question whether tourism minister Bartlett’s categorical statement on reopening borders to the UK was premature.

COVID takes a new downturn in Jamaica, but vaccination programme has to stall-April 22, 2021

Health and wellness minister, Dr. Chris Tufton, gave Parliament an update, yesterday, on COVID issues and the vaccination programme:

Key points are in the following Twitter thread:

Notably, the reproductive rate has fallen from about 1.3 to 0.9, indicating the chances of spread are lessening. Also, positivity rates have fallen from near 40% to about 15%.

Data show that COVID trends are improving. The vaccination programme has stalled because of the slow supply coming from COVAX.

He also addressed reports of health workers coming under attack:

Such attacks have included death threats to the chief medical officer.