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Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Government continues to implement measures to protect the population from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the Minister, the Administration is very sensitive to the plight of persons who have been affected by the virus and is attempting to improve the response and to “find ways to protect the people of Jamaica against this threat”.

He said efforts are ongoing to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for nurses and doctors, while field hospitals are being built and operationalised for patients. In addition, 1,500 temporary health workers have been included in the system since the start of the pandemic.

“We have expanded our consultative process to include stakeholders, and non-clinical measures, which have been put in place to do with restrictions, curfews, mask wearing, sanitising and limits on crowds congregating are still in place,” the Minister said while speaking at the National Health Fund (NHF) Marcus Garvey Drive facility in St. Andrew today, Tuesday (January 18).

Stressing that the Government has spent billions to control the effects of the virus, Dr. Tufton said he has never taken a COVID-19 funding request to the Cabinet and not received a response. He added that there is still a need, however, for personal responsibility, especially being vaccinated against the disease.

“We know what we need to do to overcome COVID; we are very sensitive to the challenges that the people of Jamaica face during this journey of COVID. I have been on the front line with the nurses and doctors, and we have all as a country made sacrifices,” he said, while pointing out that the country is not short of vaccines.

“No one can now challenge a government, with justification, that has made vaccines so available to the point where we have to be dumping it because of expiration dates,” the Minister said. He noted that four different brands of vaccines are available, 250 distribution points are functioning across the country and one hundred fixed sites.

Dr. Tufton said persons can call the health departments in their respective parishes and make arrangements to get vaccinated, as well as access the mobile buses. He underscored that they should “determine how you can fit into those efforts to meet your own circumstances, to take the best response to protect yourself”.

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