The Ministry of Health and Wellness is urging Jamaicans to use the JamCOVID website to self-report COVID-19 symptoms.
In an interview with JIS News, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, said she is disappointed with the low number of persons who are utilising the website in this manner.
The CMO pointed out that one of the main messages that the Ministry has been trying to share with the public is that persons should stay home if they have mild symptoms. However, it is still important to capture the information of those persons in the system and that reporting on the website is the best way to accomplish this.
She explained that it contains a self-assessment tool and that persons are being requested to utilise the tool, adding that self-reporting will give the health officials an idea of how many persons are affected or will possibly be affected by COVID-19.
From there, she said that persons are required to call the hotline, which would connect them to the call centre, after which a return call will be made to the person by the call centre to retrieve the information.
The CMO also pointed out that the website facilitates other actions, and is encouraging persons to visit and navigate through it to determine how best it can be of service to them.
“We use that website for persons to make appointments to take a test, and the opportunity is there for persons to use various methods. They can register on the JamCOVID website to set an appointment. There are health centres that are ready to receive those persons,” she said, adding that the times and the days that the health centres are available for appointment will come up on the website.
She explained that persons can also call the hotlines to make appointments, and upon receipt of the information, the persons manning the hotlines call the health departments or health centres to make the appointments on behalf of those persons.
The CMO said that persons are also at liberty to call the health department directly, so they should utilise these methods of getting themselves tested.
Dr. Bisasor McKenzie pointed out that the JamCOVID website provides much information that helps persons to know exactly what is happening in the country and places Jamaica’s management of the epidemic within the international context.
“It also gives you a lot of important information on the dos and the don’ts, the precautions to take, how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re quarantined, and what to do if you’re isolated,” she said, while pointing out that there are also links to other pertinent information.
One of the important aspects of the website, the CMO added, is that it is to be used by persons who are ready to return to the workplace after a period of quarantine or isolation.
“There are many things that you can use the JamCOVID site for, and I would encourage everybody to download the app on their phone, so that you can just be updated as to what is happening in the country,” she said.