Kingston, Jamaica (Jamaica Observer) – AS the island continues to see a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths, the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has stepped up its criticisms of the Government over its handling of the pandemic.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health reported 821 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours and a one-day record of 13 deaths. The ministry noted that since the first case was recorded on March 10 last year Jamaica has confirmed 32,728 positive cases with 16,513 now active. The island has also recorded 507 COVID-related deaths.
Addressing a media briefing a short while before the latest numbers were released yesterday, Opposition spokesman on health, Dr Morais Guy, ripped into the Andrew Holness Administration for what he said were its missteps in dealing with the crisis.
Guy pointed to the health ministry’s figure of 371 people hospitalised, having tested positive for the virus but charged that there was about an equal number in hospital beds who are suspected of being COVID-19 positive.
“So we have taken out 700 hospital beds in this country for COVID cases, a situation that could have been prevented, a situation that had the Government taken proper control of the pandemic from early could have been prevented and many deaths could have been prevented,” declared Guy.
“The shortage of oxygen that we are having now could have been prevented, because essentially what has happened is that no one thought, no one planned despite earlier on in the pandemic when we were advised by the epidemiologist out of the Ministry of Health that there was a certain percentage of those who got infected who would have to be admitted to hospital, and five per cent of those admitted would need ICU facilities.