Jamaica performing creditably in COVID-19 fight — Tufton

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Jamaica performing creditably in COVID-19 fight — Tufton

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton has lauded Jamaica's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting that the country is doing much better than some of its international counterparts.

Citing the COVID-19 numbers, Dr Tufton said Jamaica has managed to slow the disease, which has resulted in fewer than expected cases and hospitalisations on the island.

“In fact, Jamaica has so far kept the number of cases below the health system capacity to respond, and that's a very positive indication of the way we have managed and spent the resources,” Dr Tufton said.

He was speaking in Parliament this afternoon in his sectoral presentation 2020 titled, Public Investment in Public Health: Every One Counts.

Dr Tufton said of the 737 confirmed cases up to July 6, only 14 or 1.9 per cent have been critically ill, and 11, or 1.5 per cent moderately ill. In addition, after nearly 120 days since the first case was confirmed, Jamaica has had a mortality rate of 1.4 per cent, compared to the international rate of between three and four per cent.

"[It's] a commendable achievement attributed to the public health response," he said. "When compared to other jurisdictions, we can safely say that Jamaica's health system is working to protect the citizens of Jamaica."

He saluted all those who have helped so far, including the country's public health workers, among them volunteers from The University of the West Indies.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant challenge that Jamaica and the world has faced since the 1918 Spanish Flu which caused a reported 50 million deaths globally,” he said.

“Today, COVID-19, after six months, has infected more than 10 million people and claimed over half a million lives worldwide, and counting. This is while requiring a never before seen level of resource mobilisation and public health response plans…”

Dr Tufton said COVID-19 has reinforced the need for people to know their health status and engage in good health seeking behaviours.

He said the experience has also shown Government's commitment to public health, with just under $6 billion budgeted for the ministry to fight COVID-19.

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