Jamaica reports presence of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants

Eighty-seven samples were sequenced with sample dates from May 31 to July 11, 2022. All were identified as the Omicron variant. Of the 87 samples with sequencing, eight (9 percent) were BA.5, and 5 (6 percent) were BA.4 sub-variants. 

Jamaica reports presence of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants
Jamaica reports presence of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants

Jamaica: The Ministry of Health and Wellness has been asked that the latest sequencing performed at the University of the West Indies identify the presence of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants in Jamaica. 

Eighty-seven samples were sequenced with sample dates from May 31 to July 11, 2022. All were identified as the Omicron variant. Of the 87 samples with sequencing, eight (9 percent) were BA.5, and 5 (6 percent) were BA.4 sub-variants. 

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National Epidemiologist Dr Karen Webster cautioned that “the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5, according to World Health Organization (WHO), are the dominant variant globally and are highly transmissible. As a result, there may be an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.”

The public is encouraged to practice infection prevention and control measures, including wearing masks, hand washing, physical distancing and staying home if you are sick. 

The Ministry of Health and Wellness reminds the public that vaccines are widely available and protect against severe illness. All persons 12 years and older should visit any of the over 200 vaccination centres to be vaccinated if they have not already done so. Persons who are eligible for boosters are encouraged to take the booster dose now as their level of protection may have waned over time. 

COVID-19 in Jamaica

Jamaica has confirmed 72 new cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 24 hours. The new cases brought the overall tally of confirmed cases to 246,541. 

The toll of the positive cases of the COVID-19 pandemic stood at 73. The cumulative positive cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica are 346,541. 

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