Tue | Oct 27, 2020

Guy calls for review of COVID screening protocols

Published:Wednesday | August 5, 2020 | 2:24 PM
Opposition Spokesperson on Health, Dr Morais Guy - File photo

Opposition Spokesperson on Health Dr Morais Guy says the spike in coronavirus cases and the increased number of hospitalisations demand that the Government immediately reviews the existing protocols to ensure the safety of Jamaicans, particularly the most vulnerable.

In a statement today, Guy said the increase in cases is beyond concerning and requires immediate action, especially considering the unfortunate deaths of two persons in recent times.

He said the rise in numbers also has implications for the reopening of schools, which is planned for September.

Up to August 4, Jamaica recorded 920 cases, with 745 recoveries and 12 deaths.

There are currently 113 active cases.

“Already we have seen young children turning up with virus-like symptoms, and some may be positive with the coronavirus and would be spreading it to others who will take it home and infect vulnerable seniors,” Guy said.

He said the continued delay in test results has worsened the situation as persons may have tested positive but are unaware of their status while they continue to interact with others, inadvertently spreading the virus.

“No one can be sure of the true spread of this virus without adequate testing. The two unfortunate deaths signal that persons may be ill at home and not coming forward until it is too late. Without prompt testing and timely test results, we will not know how to treat this virus, and persons in communities, in the health sector, and the funeral services sector can be adversely exposed,” the opposition spokesperson said.

According to him, at least one health worker in St Thomas has tested positive for the virus, and a funeral home retrieved the body of a patient without the knowledge that this person was a COVID-19 victim.

“We cannot wait for things to get worse before we take decisive action to halt the further spread of this virus. The Government has the responsibility to act now in the best interest of the country. At the same time, every Jamaican must endeavour to wear masks in public, sanitise and wash hands frequently, refrain from large gatherings and practise social distancing in public spaces,” Guy said.

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