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  • Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure while speaking with medical personnel at the Annotto Bay Hospital in St. Mary on Saturday (May 9).
  • The Health Minister, who was at the Annotto Bay Hospital to view work on the new isolation ward and engage with staff at the institution, used the occasion to meet with community persons, who are under a 14-day quarantine, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the parish.

The Government will be boosting the staff at health facilities across the island, with up to 1,000 health aids and other professionals to be recruited.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure while speaking with medical personnel at the Annotto Bay Hospital in St. Mary on Saturday (May 9).

He said that the objective is to ensure that the health sector is adequately staffed to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and other areas of public health.

He noted that as part of the COVID-19 response, public health workers have been visiting communities to safeguard the health of the population through contact tracing and education, while also attending to other needs at health facilities.

“We are putting in a new plan for dealing with COVID-19, over the next 12 months, which is going to see us recruiting additional personnel to expand capacity so that we can focus on COVID, while we can do the other things that we are expected to do,” Dr. Tufton said.

The Health Minister, who was at the Annotto Bay Hospital to view work on the new isolation ward and engage with staff at the institution, used the occasion to meet with community persons, who are under a 14-day quarantine, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the parish.

Dr. Tufton also met with members of the security forces, who are manning checkpoints.

The communities of Annotto Bay, Dover, and Enfield were placed under quarantine with effect from Thursday (May 7) at 6:00 am to Thursday (May 21) at 6:00 am. The parish health department is conducting contact tracing in the areas.

Up to Thursday, 13 persons in the three communities had tested positive for COVID-19.

Two of the eight new positive cases of the virus on the island over the last 24 hours are of a 25-year old female and a 57-year old male from the communities under quarantine, and they have been placed in isolation.

Jamaica now has 498 cases of COVID-19, with 16 additional recoveries, bringing this total to 78.

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