Jamaica Could Reach Fourth Wave Peak Week By End Of January/Early February – CMO

  • Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, said that Jamaica could reach the peak week of the fourth wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by the end of January/early February. She said the projections from the Ministry of Health and Wellness are that the country could see as many as 11,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during that peak week. 
  • “We are seeing right across the world that the Omicron variant is proving to be a more transmissible virus and so the numbers are rapidly increasing in several countries, and we have started to see that here. Based on the projections, using the reproductive number, it could mean that we may take another three weeks or so to get to the peak of this fourth wave based on the present numbers,” she said. 
  • As the pandemic drags on for a third calendar year, governments globally are becoming reluctant to pursue lockdown measures given the disruptions to economic activity and the financial impact on businesses and households. This week Spain became the first European country to propose re-evaluating the pandemic using different parameters and is considering to treat the virus similar to the flu as part of efforts to keep its economy open. This is against the background that deaths as a proportion of recorded cases have fallen dramatically.
  • Despite the rapid rise in cases, we do not anticipate that this will curtail economic activity to the same extent as it did in 2021, particularly given the stance of the government on discontinuing the use of lockdowns as a means to control the pandemic. This should result in fewer disruptions to commercial activity. This, coupled with the lessons learned over the past two years and increased vaccinations should help to mitigate the adverse effects of the 4th wave on business and economic activity in 2022.

(Sources: JIS and NCBCM Research)