JAMAICA | Former MP wants Westmoreland declared a COVID Disaster Parish

JAMAICA | Former MP wants Westmoreland declared a COVID Disaster Parish

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland, August 29, 2021 - Former member of parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, Luther Buchannan, wants “the Minister of Health to declare the parish of Westmoreland a COVID disaster Parish.”

In a statement today, Buchannan said he was also calling on  government “for the Godfrey Stewart High School to be transformed immediately into the secondary healthcare facility because of its location,” in an effort to ameliorate the situation.

He said this would “allow the Savanna-la-mar General Public Hospital to focus on COVID only cases because of its extensive oxygen supply infrastructure that already exists. This would facilitate the continuation of secondary healthcare services to the Parish,” Buchanan said.

“I know this will require expenditures outside the Ministry’s budget but that’s amongst the reasons we have a Net International Reserve (NIR),” the former member of parliament observed.

Only recently, the President of the Medical Association of Jamaica, Dr Andrew Manning, noted that the decision to restrict public hospitals to conducting emergency care services is indicative of the grim state of affairs in the country.

He said the situation at public hospitals needs to be cauterised quickly, adding that the MAJ had received reports from several hospitals about challenges with maintaining oxygen supplies.

 "To get out of this situation, we have to cut down, in the short term, the number of new cases," he said, adding an appeal for compliance with the no-movement restrictions that have been imposed by the government.

On Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie conceded that the rising demand for oxygen threatens to overwhelm supply.

The country's sole producer of medical oxygen, IGL, said that it had run out of supply and had advised hospitals and medical practitioners to carefully use what they had on hand until the situation could be remedied.

In the meantime, Jamaica recorded 929 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday.

This makes it the highest one-day increase in confirmed cases of the respiratory illness since the first infection was announced on March 10 last year.

This brings the total number of infections so far in Jamaica to 66,663.

A further 21 people have also died of the disease, taking the death toll to 504.

There are now 728 COVID-19 patients in hospital, among whom, the Ministry of Health & Wellness reports 88 are severly ill and 67 in critical condition.

that a number of deaths have occurred at a hospital due to the shortage of  medical oxygen which has resulted from the high number of  patients being treated for COVID-19.

 It's understood that  hospitals are experiencing a number of deaths due to the shortage of  oxygen.

It is further understood that surgeries are being curtailed as patients will not be able to be ventilated without oxygen.

 Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says efforts are being made to manage the crisis until a fresh supply of medical oxygen arrives. 

He said Jamaica is holding talks with its international partners in a bid to end the supply shortage, but cautioned that other countries are experiencing the same challenges.

Author’s Posts