The Paediatric Association of Jamaica is reporting a 70 per cent increase in cases of child sex abuse in Jamaica since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jamaica's first case of the virus was reported on March 10.
Paediatrician Dr. Curtis Pryce said the cases involved mostly girls three to 12 years who are "being molested by adult men (in their) 40s-50s."
Dr. Pryce said the increase in cases was expected since it has been widely documented that "during periods of lockdown, when you hurricane, floods and that sort of thing, we see an upsurge in these cases."
He was speaking Thursday on Radio Jamaica's talkshow programme Hotline.
Meanwhile, Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison said, while the numbers are alarming, she is not surprised about the increase in sexual abuse cases.
Mrs Gordon Harrison said over the last five years, there has been a constant increase in cases reported.
The Children's Advocate said what is concerning is the fall-off in the number of cases reported last month.
"Between February and March, the numbers kind of held pretty much the same when you compare it with other periods over previous years. But for the month of April, we had a 76 per cent drop in the number of reports, which tells us that abuse has continued, because there hasn't been any significant change in the parameters that would say we have less predators targeting less children. But what it's telling us is that children, and those who perhaps are exposed to children, are reporting less," she said.
She was also speaking on Radio Jamaica's Hotline programme.