How did we get here in the COVID-19 fight?

Letters to the Editor

How did we get here in the COVID-19 fight?

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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Dear Editor,

I read with interest a newspaper article about the US gift aid of a COVID-19 field hospital which is being installed in St Andrew. I noted, too, our increasing illness rate of, at that time, almost 5,000 with 60 deaths. This stands in comparison to April, when we had 63 cases and three deaths.

Whilst, as a nation in this pandemic, we should be grateful for such a gift, I cannot help but wonder how we have managed to find ourselves in this situation in which our island's hospital systems are overflowing. Why dependency on a field hospital, where our experts themselves have to undergo training in order to manage the unit?

When will Jamaica wake up and cease the reliance on gift aid and start to prepare properly for our people's social health and well-being? We have indeed come a long way in our history, enough to take the pride from our forefathers who fought the good fight, and enough to leaJavonie Samuels <>ve us a rich legacy for this generation to remember the battle for our freedom.

COVID-19 is worldwide, and we know enough about this disease for our Government to lead the way in creating a paradigm shift to focus on the nation's health through the promotion of healthy nutrition and hygiene programmes, rather than preparing us for the use of ventilators through the promotion of masks.

The sad reality is that this same protection that we promote will ultimately render our bodies susceptible and ready for the ventilator as it desensitises our system, denying us of necessary oxygen essential to a healthy respiratory system.

Over the past six months the Government has been encouraging us to stay at home with mild symptoms and to isolate unless our conditions are serious to warrant medical attention. However, with the arrival of this new hospital, I read in the article of the change in the admission policy which will include those who test positive, plus those exhibiting mild symptoms of the disease. I use this medium to ask the minister of health to explain the rationale for this change.

Marva Hewitt

Occupational health specialist

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