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New variant of COVID-19 detected in Jamaica

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, on Saturday (January 2) announced that four travellers who arrived in Jamaica from the United Kingdom have tested positive for the new strain of COVID-19.

The news comes as the Opposition Minister on Health, Dr. Morais Guy, demanded that the country be updated on the tests for the new strain of COVID-19 on positive samples taken from recent UK travellers who arrived in Jamaica.

The opposition minister expressed shock at the length of time it was taking for the results to be made known, noting that samples were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad last Thursday.

According to Tufton, despite the findings, health officials have no evidence to suggest that the new strain is in the general population.

On December 21, 20 passengers from the UK arrived in Kingston and were immediately taken to a state quarantine facility, despite protest from those aboard the flight.

The passengers were tested for the coronavirus, with positive samples sent to the regional health agency CARPHA for further evaluation.

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