It has been a rather nervous weekend, as COVID-19 numbers surge (we had 379 new cases yesterday), hospitals ar over capacity – and the “Dream Weekend” event carried on, regardless. Although great efforts were made with protocols, masks, sanitizing etc., a few videos have emerged that show a worrying lack of social distancing at the annual “party marathon” event, which is attended by many foreign tourists.
Yes, the much-feared “third wave” is breaking over us, as the Ministry of Health and Wellness had anticipated some three months ago.
Nevertheless, the hard-working public relations department at the Ministry just put out a Sunday night press release. We expect to hear from Prime Minister Andrew Holness (quite possibly tomorrow evening) regarding new regulations on COVID. These are difficult times for us all.
But for heaven’s sake, if you have not done so already, get vaxxed! For your own sake, and that of your family, your friends, your work colleagues…and for Jamaica.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Health Ministry resumes island-wide vaccinations
- Reviews leave entitlements for some health workers in light of COVID-19 third wave
KINGSTON, Jamaica. Sunday, August 8, 2021: Islandwide vaccinations will resume tomorrow (Monday, August 9) while leave entitlements for at least some health staff may be deferred, as Jamaica continues its efforts to prevent illness and death associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hospitals across the island are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. In anticipation of further increases in bed occupancy, the Regional Health Authorities have been advised to review and revise leave rosters to ensure that there is adequate staff coverage,” said Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
“This measure, together with the resumption of vaccinations, is being implemented as the Ministry activates its surge plan to cope with the third wave of COVID-19 now impacting the island,” he added.
“Our hospitals are under severe constraints and this is likely to have implications for elective or non-emergency procedures. The public will be updated in the days to come,” the Minister said further.
Jamaica registered 379 new COVID-19 infections and three deaths on Saturday (August 7), increasing the total number of infections to 54,859 since the island registered its first case last year and to 1,222 the total number of deaths. At the same time, major hospitals islandwide are over 100% of their isolation capacity for confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases.
The resumption of vaccinations, meanwhile, follows a week-long vaccination blitz that saw more than 63,000 Jamaicans vaccinated. This brings the total number of vaccinations to some 372,911. Of that number, 240,472 are first doses, 131,554 are second doses and 885 are single doses.
The Health Ministry is seeking to administer some 700,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of September, in pursuit of the target to have 65% of the Jamaican population vaccinated by March 2022.
To become vaccinated, members of the public are encouraged to make their appointments online at https://www.moh.gov.jm or call the Vaccination Call Centre at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683).
Once persons have received their appointment confirmation, they are to visit their vaccination site on time and with their TRN and government-issued identification or letter from a Justice of the Peace.
Members of the public are encouraged to stay vigilant in their practice of infection prevention and control measures, notably, mask wearing, maintaining a physical distancing from others and frequently washing and/or sanitising hands.