(CMR) There is mounting concern among health experts that the COVID-19 pandemic could kill more than 17,000 Jamaicans as a second wave is on the horizon.
The projected death toll coupled with the alarming numbers of new cases the country has been seeing in recent times has many worried that the situation has become unmanageable.
The latest numbers out of the Ministry of Health and Wellness(MOHW) show that Jamaica has near 5,000 cases of the virus, with each new report showing triple digit increases in new COVID-19 cases.
It is a worrying situation that the Opposition Health spokesman Morais Guy said shows that the government has not only lost control of the fight against the coronavirus, but it has also abandoned the testing protocols, leaving the nation to battle the alarming increases in positive cases on its own.
Guy in a statement said that the “entire testing regime appears now to be on autopilot” which is guaranteed to spread the disease faster and wider afield, exposing vulnerable groups to the possibility of death.
“Currently there is no testing of persons who have been exposed to positive cases; very limited, if any contact tracing is taking place; there is no testing of asymptomatic persons, and there is no fast-track available to frontline health care workers who have been exposed to the virus. And the wait time for persons who have tested positive is way too long,” Guy said.
According to Guy, based on the decision by the National Public Health Laboratory to accept only 400 samples per day for testing, it means that even the high numbers do not represent what we are currently dealing with at the hospitals.
“We have been told that we have the capacity to test over 3000 samples per day, therefore, testing samples of 400 fall well below 25 percent of our capacity. For this reason, I believe we have lost the battle to safeguard the nation from the spread, and we are now like sitting ducks,” Dr added .
Jamaica currently records over 100 new cases per day and the number of deaths averaging over two per day, this crisis needs urgent and strict management.