A member of the medical fraternity has recommended that Jamaica be placed on alert for the Lambda variant of the coronavirus to prevent a local surge of the highly contagious strain which is rapidly spreading in Peru. Associate Professor of Public Health, Alverston Bailey, says the move would heighten awareness about the Lambda variant. He says the emergence of COVID-19 variants of concern and other variants of interest is a reminder of the aggressiveness of the pandemic. Professor Bailey is suggesting that action be taken to prevent the variant from crippling Jamaica‘s healthcare system. “We must control the actions of the carefree and reckless to protect the health and well-being of the compliant majority. Therefore, at this point in time, let us ensure that COVID protocols are rigidly enforced to avoid what I’d like to describe as the Peruvian syndrome of high infection rate and deaths caused by this variant. This is not the time to let our guards down,” he warned. Professor Bailey said there is a high chance of the Lambda variant reaching Jamaica with tourists arriving from countries where the variant is spreading. He pointed out that the Lambda variant has so far been identified in 31 countries, including Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, India, the United States, Israel Germany, and Spain. “Many of our tourists actually do come from these countries and therefore the possibility of them having the Lambda variant is very high. And because it has now been shown to be so highly transmissible and to have such a high mortality rate, we need to create Lambda alerts that we can be aware of the possibility of getting this variant and the serious adverse effect it might have on our healthcare system,” he recommended. Scientists are concerned that the Lambda variant may be resistant to vaccines.
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