The Ministry of Health & Wellness has confirmed that the latest gene sequencing results from the National Influenza Centre at the University Hospital of the West Indies have indicated the presence of the Omicron BA.2 variant in Jamaica.
The Ministry in a release said eighty-nine samples were sequenced with sample dates from January 1 to March 4, 2022. Of those, 98.9 % were Omicron variants and 1.1 % Delta variant. Of the Omicron samples, two of 88 or 2.3 % were BA.2 variant and 97.7% were BA.1 variant.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie cautioned that “the BA.2 variant according to World Health Organization WHO is the dominant variant globally and the type of illness associated with this variant is similar to the BA.1 variant.
Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie noted that the Variant is highly transmissible and as a result, there may be an increase in number of COVID-19 cases.