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66 new COVID-19 cases within the last 24 hours into Thursday afternoon

Jamaica has recorded 66 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic within the last 24 hours into Thursday afternoon, which brought the total number of cases for the island to 1,870.

Most of the new cases have been recorded in Kingston and St Andrew, with 35 females and 31 males being numbered, ranging from seven to 88 years.

A total of 441 of the island’s cases were imported, with 515 other cases confirmed by contact tracing.

There are 933 active cases of the 1,870, as the others have recovered and been released to resume normal lives.

Four individuals are now critically ill with the virus, and seven are moderately ill.

Over the 24-hour period, 506 samples were tested, bringing the total number of test to 55,605.

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, during a press briefing on Thursday, said Jamaicans will have to start living with COVID-19 as the new normal.

He said individuals who have returned home from overseas have given a lesson that individuals can be restored and reintegrated into society after having contracted the virus.

“COVID is not a death sentence, and not a lifelong plague on an individual or community,” Tufton said.

He said the overall data relative to the virus locally is being assessed and it is pointing to a situation where for many who test positive for the virus, but do not have the symptoms of COVID-19, the new normal will be to have them staying at home to recover if the environment is conducive.

Tufton said those who do not have the required facility, will be placed in Government institutions.

“COVID will be present in our population and likely to be more present in the future, and the response is to manage it in a way where home recovery will become the standard practice, than hospital recovery. Hospitals will be there, but it is a matter of how we manage it,” said Tufton.