By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Jamaica Ministry of Health reported 551 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday, including 17 deaths, bringing the island’s cumulative totals to 61,833 total cases and 1,388 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

KSA parish recorded the most cases with 115, followed by St. Catherine (91) and St. Ann (88).

Currently, 573 people are hospitalized with 82 classified as severely ill and 56 patients as critically ill.

The Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is taking steps to provide additional beds for the increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in the region requiring hospitalization.

Regional Director, St. Andrade Sinclair, said that patient occupancy is at full capacity at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James, Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover, Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland, and Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny.

He indicated, however, that while the situation at the Savanna-la-Mar hospital has reached “crisis proportion”, the facility has been positioned to handle the strain being experienced.

“So, what we have to be doing [is] using tents for some of the [patient] spillovers. We [also] have the field hospital in Falmouth, which is a 36-bed [facility],” he informed.

Subscribe to Outbreak News TV

On Saturday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness urged all eligible Jamaicans to take the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, noting that most of the infected persons now hospitalized are unvaccinated.

“The unquestioned fact is that 99 per cent of those persons who are occupying those hospital beds were not vaccinated,” he noted.

Mr. Holness said the science suggests that the risk of an adverse or fatal outcome from COVID-19 infection is “very low” for persons who are inoculated.