Thursday 22 October, 2020

Government to hire 1,000 more health workers amid COVID-19 fight

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr  Christopher Tufton (centre), engaged in one of several meetings with members of the security forces who are manning check-points in sections of St Mary that are under a 14-day quarantine, on Saturday, May 9.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton (centre), engaged in one of several meetings with members of the security forces who are manning check-points in sections of St Mary that are under a 14-day quarantine, on Saturday, May 9.

The Government is to boost the staff at health facilities across the island with up to 1,000 health aids and other professionals to be recruited.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure while speaking with medical personnel at the Annotto Bay Hospital in St Mary on Saturday, May 9.

He said the objective of the pending move is to ensure that the health sector is adequately staffed to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and other areas of public health.

He further said that as part of the COVID-19 response, public health workers have been visiting communities to safeguard the health of the population through contact tracing and education, while also attending to other needs at health facilities.

“We are putting in a new plan for dealing with COVID-19, over the next 12 months, which is going to see us recruiting additional personnel to expand capacity so that we can focus on COVID while we can do the other things that we are expected to do,” Tufton stated.

The health minister who was at the Annotto Bay Hospital to view work on the new isolation ward and engage with staff at the institution, used the occasion to meet with community persons who are under a 14-day quarantine, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the parish.

Tufton also met with members of the security forces who are manning the checkpoints in the quarantined areas.

The communities of Annotto Bay, Dover, and Enfield were placed under quarantine with effect from Thursday, May 7 at 6am to Thursday, May 21 at 6am. The parish health department is conducting contact tracing in the areas.

Up to Thursday, 13 persons in the three communities had tested positive for COVID-19.

Two of the eight new positive cases of the virus on the island over the last 24 hours are of a 25-year old female and a 57-year old male from the communities under quarantine, and they have been placed in isolation.

Jamaica now has 502 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 16 additional recoveries, bringing this total to 78.

Nine persons have so far died from complications with the virus locally.

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