By MyVue News.con Staff Writer
Basseterre, 8th March, 2021, (MyVue News.com) –The government and people of Jamaica are facing a serious health challenge. The country is running out of hospital beds to care for the increasing number of patients who have contracted COVID-19.
In addition, as the hospitalizations increase, there is also a shortage of ventilators and though they have not run out of oxygen, trucks have had to be replenishing some hospitals at a higher rate than the usual schedule.
Instead of deliveries once, or twice weekly, that has now become a daily exercise.
The Jamaica Observer has reported that the Head of the Western Regional Health Authority, Errol Greene, indicated that every hospital bed in a field hospital that was opened on Sunday, in Falmouth, has already been filled.
Green also issued a call for his countrymen to adopt a serious approach and attitude to the virus, saying that “Jamaicans really need to start taking COVID-19 very serious. There is an advertisement that says ‘the mask or the ventilator’, but we don’t have ventilators for everybody. We are doing our best under the circumstances, but this is a struggle.”
Over the weekend, there was a massive spike in cases with 723 new new ones, within 24 hours.
They also recorded seven new deaths.
As at 6:00pm on Monday, 8th March, Jamaica had 26,026 confirmed cases.
Even though the situation continues to deteriorate, the government says it will not execute a national lockdown. It claims that the economy cannot afford it.
As the cases spread, another major challenge facing the country, is the poor attitude of Jamaicans.
Many are refusing to adhere to the non pharmaceutical protocols, especially properly wearing a mask, or even attempting to wear one. The lack of social distancing has also been a headache for local health officials.
A recent study found that many Coronavirus cases are being spread through various social events and amongst people using public transportation, in a country that is well known for its practices of overcrowding and where there is always room for one more on a bus.
The Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton has warned that people will continue to die if Jamaicans do not play their part to stop the spread of the deadly disease.
He added, “It must sink in that if you continue to have the parties, the drink-ups; if you continue to ignore the protocols around gatherings and you congregate and you don’t wear the mask, then the chances of you getting the coronavirus are real and the probability is increasing. And when you get to the hospital, the chances of you getting a bed is going to become less and less.”
He was reported in the Jamaica Observer as telling Jamaicans, “The truth is we do not have enough policemen or soldiers to police every shop in Jamaica, to police every beach in Jamaica, to look over every single individual in this country, and it is downright unfair for persons to blame our public health officials, our public health teams, our doctors, and our nurses when they cannot get through at a hospital because they are there because they went to the party that they should not have gone to, or to the beach or the funeral that they should not have congregated at and have picked up the virus, and then they expect the Government or the public health system to solve the problem. And if we don’t do it, we get cuss.”
As of Monday, 8th March, 2021, Jamaica has had 453 deaths from COVID-19.
Photo: Jamaica’s Minister of health, Dr. Christopher Tufton