Good use of the National Arena!

Letters to the Editor

Good use of the National Arena!

Friday, April 10, 2020

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Dear Editor,

According to reports, the National Arena is to become an emergency field hospital, an isolation facility, in case there is a surge in COVID-19 cases. This is another good move by the Government in response to the virus outbreak.

Time is not on our side with COVID-19. We can't wait for a surge to happen then try to wonder where to put the patients. It is always better to be proactive, than inactive.

The National Arena is a large area in which patients can be adequately spaced, the building is also somewhat isolated, which reduces the risks to surrounding areas.

Since the outbreak I have been impressed with the response team led by Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and the Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie. A few mistakes have been made along the way, but this is how you learn, especially when dealing with emergencies which can be unpredictable. We also must learn from other countries that experienced the outbreak weeks before Jamaica. Mandatory quarantine should've been in place for arriving passengers mid-March when it became apparent that the global pandemic was spreading rapidly, mainly due to travel. Hotels which are now empty could've been booked as mandatory quarantine facilities resulting in some revenue to property owners to help them get through the period. The 14-day government quarantine would've been a small price to pay on a national level, and could've helped to contain the spread of the virus on the island.

P Chin

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