Thu | Dec 3, 2020

'We are still engaged in contact tracing' - Tufton

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2020 | 6:33 PM
Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has rejected claims that the ministry has ceased contact tracing for individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Speaking at a virtual press conference today, Tufton stressed that the ministry takes the management of the crisis seriously and is doing all it can to keep Jamaicans safe.  

He reiterated that the country is in community spread and that the health authorities have put measures in place to limit the virus being passed on. 

"It is one of the reasons we recruited additional community health aides for which we have approval for 1,200. We have employed 121 medical doctors to our clinical team. We continue to procure personal protective gear to outfit our frontline staff. We continue to equip our health facilities to enhance their capacity to deliver specialised care," Tufton said.

Jamaica has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with positive cases totalling 5,588 and 77 deaths. 

Tufton stated that testing is an essential element in the fight against COVID-19 and the ministry is therefore enhancing testing capacity with the introduction of antigen testing.

Last week, Tufton announced that Jamaica is to start using antigen tests to check for COVID-19 in people suspected to have the virus.

At the time, director of the National Laboratory Services, Dr Michelle Hamilton, said that the test is simple, cost-effective and easily accessible compared to the popular PCR test. 

The Government has ordered 80,000 antigen test kits. 

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