by PETER IVEY
Jamaica’s Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton confirmed on Saturday that four cases of the highly contagious variant of COVID-19, originally identified in the United Kingdom, have been confirmed in Jamaica.
On December 21, due to fears of the variant entering its borders, Jamaica restricted UK flights until the end of January.
The four cases arrived on a flight from the UK on the day that the travel ban was announced. Twenty cases of COVID-19 were found on that flight, four of which had the highly transmissible strain.
Jamaican authorities are urging the public not to panic as there was no evidence that the variant had spread within the community. Dr Tufton has urged that government is taking all required precautions.
Since the variant was initially identified, three US states (Florida, California and Colorado) and 32 countries, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and Turkey. South Africa has also identified its own variant.