KINGSTON, Jamaica, August 9, 2021 - The People’s National Party is expressing deep concern at the sharp spike in COVID-19 cases and very high positivity rates, along with the rapid increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, since the relaxing of restrictions about a month ago.
"Jamaica is now facing a major health crisis, with all major hospitals already over capacity and more COVID patients than available beds, and this is prior to the inevitable impact from the parties, concerts and other gatherings held during the past week of Emancipendence celebrations," the PNP said in a media release today.
The PNP spokesman on Health Dr. Morais Guy is also concerned that this will have negative implications for the reopening of schools in September, which will further deepen the crisis on our children’s education.
Dr. Guy noted that only high levels of mass vaccination will enable Jamaica to return to a state of normalcy, the PNP is warning the Government that merely continuing the existing approaches will not achieve the required results.
He said the PNP is recommending the following new strategies to reverse the current downward spiral:
Immediately expand the reach of the vaccination programme by bringing it to community centres, churches and schools within densely populated urban communities and deep rural areas, where many people are unable or unwilling to travel elsewhere to be vaccinated.
Enable private medical practitioners across Jamaica to provide vaccinations to their patients, which will provide an effective additional channel for the vaccination distribution system.
Proactively enlist major social influencers (such as leading churchmen, sports personalities and entertainers) for strident messages to persuade hesitant Jamaicans to get vaccinated.
Publicize the testimonials of doctors on the hospital frontlines as to the overwhelming prevalence of unvaccinated patients among those who are dying or falling seriously ill, which will provide stark and compelling encouragement for vaccination.
The PNP says it "is once again restating its willingness to play an active role in a national effort to tackle this pandemic crisis, and is renewing its offer to cooperate with the Government in whatever ways our assistance may be sought.
"We express our gratitude to, and stand in solidarity with the doctors, nurses and ancillary workers who are caring for the sick and saving lives in very challenging circumstances. We also express our sincere condolences to the many families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 in Jamaica," the party health spokesman said.