As the fourth wave is about to make its dominance over Jamaica, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has ensured the proper medical oxygen availability to support further a soaring capacity of up to 1,200 patients in COVID-19 beds.
According to the ministry, it is also planning to diversify the oxygen supply, including through public-private partnerships.
The country is planning to prevent another oxygen crisis, as it had earlier in August and September last year, as the number of cases soared. The primary supplier of oxygen is IGL.
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said in a statement, “As earlier predicted, the fourth wave of COVID-19 has blown. The only proof is the growth in the number of cases in the last weeks. More COVID-19 infections mean more people would be hospitalised, which will ultimately put pressure on the public health system.”
Additionally, while getting ready for the fourth wave, the ministry has released a statement where they have mentioned that the temporary staff employed on a contractual basis to support the operations of local health facilities and the National Vaccination Programme have extended their contracts to March 2022.
Alongside, the bed capacity in hospitals is also set to increase, noting that eight hospitals under construction are about to get completed by this month at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital. It will eventually increase the bed capacity of the nation to around 745.
Dr Tufton further added that, “We have already put safety measures and protocols in place, but we also want to warn Jamaicans not to grow complacent in the times of vulnerability. Along with the safety measures, we want to focus more on the need to get vaccinated to fight better against COVID-19.”
The health ministry has alerted people to receive their vaccinations, and they are asked to visit any of the over 250 vaccination points across the island. Along with this, booster doses are on offer at permanent vaccination sites.