Mu Variant of COVID-19 Detected in Jamaica

PHOTO: MICHAEL SLOLEY Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (second left), emphasises a point during the virtual COVID Conversations press conference on August 12. Listening (from left) are: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dunstan Bryan; Chief Medical Officer, Jacquiline Bisasor- McKenzie; and Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry, Dr. Melody Ennis.
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CNW- Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says the Mu strain of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be manageable once the established public health protocols are followed.

Tufton urged members of the public not to panic, as new strains of the virus will enter Jamaica due to people traveling to the island from other parts of the globe.

“This new strain is not going to lead to more people dying or getting ill. We are still studying it, and while we have an obligation to announce, we are not announcing for you to panic…it is for you to be aware; it is not a failure of the system or the process,” he told reporters.

He said what is required is continuous vaccination, social distancing, and regular hand washing and sanitisation as the observance of the health protocols will help to “build our capacity to resist the virus as we restore some form semblance of normality”.

Last week, Tufton had said that it is imperative that the Jamaican population be protected against the virus.

“Now that we know that there is the Mu variant in the Caribbean and it is one of concern, then we will pay particular attention to ensuring that we not only test for Delta and the others but we test for this particular one as well.

“We have collected samples and sent them to three sites outside of Jamaica for those samples to be tested,” he said, noting this is among the reasons the government is forging ahead with the national vaccination programme to get the majority of the population inoculated

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