(CMR) Jamaicans are being urged to only visit the island's hospitals in cases of emergency as several facilities are struggling to deal with an increase in coronavirus patients.
Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton has urged persons with non-emergency cases to visit their local health centers so hospitals can address the more serious cases.
The minister said there was an increase in hospitalization, even in non-corona-related illnesses, the Jamaica Information Service reported.
Dr. Tufton said more the general wards had “more persons suffering from various respiratory ailments, which adds to the stress in the system.”
“If you don’t need to go to a hospital, please do not. At this point in time, unless you think it is absolutely necessary, visit maybe your health center, or make a call to your doctor. Don’t go, because what you will be doing, unless you think you absolutely need to, is further clogging the system and pulling attention of the public health practitioners away from the cases that are more severe,” Tufton said.
Some institutions have had to postpone elective surgeries “because that capacity is required to deal with the emergency cases around COVID as well as other emergency cases,” Tufton added.
The health minister had asked every hospital to put temporary provisions in place, whether tents or chairs, to ensure that everyone turning up at the facility is triaged.
Over 22,000 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Jamaica so far, with over 8000 active cases on Wednesday, February 24.
Meantime, the country continues to deal with people flaunting COVID-19 protocols, with many still having parties despite restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather and nightly curfews.
Young people account for most of the COVID-19 cases in the country, the JIS reported.