Seven of each samples tested for the United Kingdom variant strain of the novel coronavirus were found to be positive.
The testing were done at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad & Tobago for testing.
Dr Christopher Tufton, the country’s health minister, said that of the eight tested for the UK variant, seven were positive.
“This may have contributed to the rate of spread in our population,”
The positive samples came from persons in the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, St James, St Catherine, Trelawny and Clarendon.
“What this confirms for us is that the UK variant strain is present in our population,”
Tufton said while adding that the rate of spread is being assisted by non-adherence to the protocols.
Four passengers on a flight from the UK tested positive for the new variant last December.
Tufton said that Jamaica is considering acquiring equipment, which could cost about $60 million, to test for the variant strain in Jamaica.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor- McKenzie, said that with two COVID strains now in the country, there is the possibility that persons who already got the virus can be reinfected with the new strain.
Bisasor- McKenzie said that while the UK variant may be driving spread in many areas of the country, it is the lack of adherence to protocols that is chiefly responsible for the spread of the virus.
Nearly four in every 10 Jamaicans tested for COVID-19 have to virus.