Sun | Sep 26, 2021

‘Let that sink in’…Tufton laments worsening COVID crisis

Published:Sunday | March 7, 2021 | 4:00 PM
Tufton: “Jamaicans, people will die! It’s as simple as that. I’m sorry if some persons are offended by this straight and plain talk. But I believe that it is very important that all of us appreciate and understand the consequences of our actions."

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, says hospitals are going to come under even more pressure in light of Jamaica recording its highest number of COVID-19 cases in a 24-period.

Yesterday, the country recorded 723 new infections, pushing the total to 26,026, with 11,039 of the cases being active.

There were also seven additional fatalities, moving the death tally to 453.

Tufton, in a video post on Instagram today, charged that this is a defining moment for Jamaica and warned that the situation may get worse if citizens don’t intensify their compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

He noted that with the new cases, Jamaica has moved to a positivity rate of 35.9%.

“It must sink in that 723 persons in one day, and more importantly, over three out of every 10 persons tested are positive. This means that corona[virus] is right across the length of our population.

“Let it sink in that our public health workers, our nurses, [and] our doctors are going to find it very difficult to cope with those who come in and need medical care.

“Let it sink in that it means longer waits, it means persons having to suffer for longer periods before they can get a bed, and generally speaking, a health system that is going to experience significant stress and fatigue,” Tufton stressed.

The health minister chastised those who have not been following the protocols.

“It must sink in that if you continue to have the parties [and] the 'drink ups', if you continue to ignore the protocols around gatherings and you congregate and you don’t wear the mask, then the chances of you getting the coronavirus are real, and the probability is increasing. And when you get to the hospital, the chances of you getting a bed are going to become less and less.

“Jamaicans, people will die! It’s as simple as that. I’m sorry if some persons are offended by this straight and plain talk. But I believe that it is very important that all of us appreciate and understand the consequences of our actions,” said Tufton.

He asserted that the Government has been doing its best to handle the crisis, and charged that too many Jamaicans have been irresponsible in their actions, which he said are helping to drive the increase in cases.

“This is not an attempt to rid [the] Government of its responsibilities, contrary to what some may say or some may think. The truth is, we do not have enough policemen or soldiers to police every shop in Jamaica, to police every beach in Jamaica, to look over every single individual in this country. And it is downright unfair for persons to blame our public health officials  ... when they cannot get through at a hospital because they are there because they went to the party that they should not have gone to, or to the beach, or to the funeral they shouldn't have congregated at and picked up the virus; and then they expect the Government or the public health system to solve the problem, and if we don’t do it we get cuss,” Tufton stated.

He said it is hoped that this current situation will jolt Jamaicans into taking the COVID-19 protocols seriously so as to help limit the spread of the virus.

- Jerome Reynolds

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