Thu | Mar 4, 2021

'Call ahead'... UHWI facing capacity issues amid COVID spike

Published:Monday | February 22, 2021 | 9:07 PM
Jamaica’s coronavirus cases have massively trended upwards this month, with a 24-hour positivity rate over 30 per cent in one instance, prompting the authorities to urge Jamaicans to follow guidelines, tighten the national curfew, and reduce the number allowed for public gatherings.

The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) is now urging the public, private medical practitioners and hospitals referring patients, to make contact ahead of time before transfers amid capacity issues.

In a statement a short while ago, the hospital said this is due to the spike in COVID-19 cases and limited bed space.

There were unconfirmed reports Sunday night that the St Andrew-based UHWI was out of bed space.

Today, an article in The Gleaner article highlighted that key hospitals in the coronavirus fight have either exceeded their COVID-19 bed space or are on the brink of turning away the sick.

READ: BEDS ON BRINK - COVID crisis escalates as moderate, critical cases near 100

The St James-based Cornwall Regional Hospital, the ailing Type A facility serving western Jamaica, is at 100 per cent, and the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover is at 95 per cent, revealed Errol Greene, head of the Western Regional Health Authority. Cornwall Regional has 339 beds overall, with 41 allotted for COVID-19 cases.

The Spanish Town Hospital was at 85 per cent, while the National Chest and the Kingston Public hospitals were at “high numbers”, confirmed Wentworth Charles, chairman of the South Eastern Regional Health Authority, under whose oversight the facilities fall.

Jamaica’s coronavirus cases have massively trended upwards this month, with a 24-hour positivity rate over 30 per cent in one instance, prompting the authorities to urge Jamaicans to follow guidelines, tighten the national curfew, and reduce the number allowed for public gatherings.

The UHWI can be contacted at (876) 541-1043 or (876) 541-1044.

"The University Hospital continues to fulfil its mandate to provide the highest level of care for all patients, while at the same time ensuring the patient's safety is given full consideration," the statement read.

Jamaica currently has 21,679 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 8083 of those cases are active, with 267 hospitalised and 399 deaths. 

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