News reports today detailed the lack of critical supplies in the system and ignite fears that frontline workers are being exposed unnecessarily to the coronavirus.
“It confirms our worst fears that our Doctors and Nurses are not adequately protected and have not been provided with key and adequate outfits and personal protective equipment needed to ensure their overall safety,” the Shadow Minister said.
Dr Guy said the emerging confusion relating to statements attributed to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, regarding the numbers of positive cases in the country is serious.
“It is clear from the reports that enough testing is not being done. We are not testing those who are quarantined. Enough testing is not being done among the medical personnel who have been exposed, nor among other persons who have been exposed in communities. The only way to get an accurate understanding and grasp of the range of this crisis is to test as many people as possible.” Dr Guy said.
He said the confusion surrounding whether or not that there are positive cases among our front line medical personnel could have been avoided if we were testing all persons who have been quarantined.
Dr Guy said Jamaica needs to immediately switch from a protocol which was established when the thought was that only person with symptoms could spread the virus. The current understanding is that exposed persons without symptoms may be carriers of the disease.
In a statement today, Dr Guy said in a national crisis, where not only Jamaica, but most of the world is battling the COVID -19 pandemic, the worst thing that could happen, is confusion regarding the accuracy of information being shared by the Minister.
He said this was potentially damaging because of the possibility of bringing into disrepute the central role that the Ministry and health professionals play in the fight to safeguard the lives of Jamaicans.
He said there is need for the government to be transparent, accurate and honest with the information that it shares with the press and our people and to understand that this aspect of the overall anti Covid-19 response strategy must never be compromised.
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