COVID-19 Update


The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs continues to note an increase in the number of persons presenting with flu-like illnesses at the Emergency Departments, Wellness Centers and private doctors’ offices. This is due to new COVID-19 variants, Influenza A and B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Over the last 14 days, an increase in hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 were also noted. During the period January 15-25, 2024 three COVID-19 deaths were recorded. The elderly, persons with chronic health conditions and the unvaccinated are most affected at this time.

The Ministry of Health has begun preparation in the event that cases continue to increase. The hospitals are on alert to ensure supplies, equipment and medication is available. PCR and rapid testing are available free of charge to the public at the various Wellness Centers and Community Hospitals and Polyclinic. The regional public health agencies are working to source and supply the region with the necessary vaccines.

The public is encouraged to reduce the impact of respiratory illnesses by the following measures:

Maintain a healthy lifestyle, through diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, reduced stress and toxic habits.

Ensure compliance by taking prescribed medication if you suffer from any chronic health conditions.

Strengthen sanitary measures at home and work and maintain proper hand hygiene with regular hand washing.

Wear a face mask when presenting flu like symptoms.

Consult a healthcare professional if flu like symptoms linger or worsen.

All persons with chronic health conditions are strongly advised to wear a facemask when in public, in crowded conditions, and avoid contact with others who are sick. Personal responsibility is important at this time.

Facemasks are available at all the public health facilities to patients who may need.

General updated guidelines have been prepared for all of the main agencies.

The Ministry of Health reminds the general public that we are presently in the flu season which runs from October to March and as such, would like to encourage the use of the flu vaccine which is available free of charge at the various wellness centers. The COVID-19 Janssen vaccine is also available and can be taken as a booster especially for persons with risks factors or chronic illness.

The Ministry of Health will continue to provide regular updates and health education to the general public to take the necessary measures to reduce the impact of respiratory illness at this time.

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