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The Ministry of Health and Wellness has so far spent $3.8 billion on efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 7.

A total of just under $6 billion has, to date, been budgeted for the Ministry of Health and Wellness for its response efforts.

“We have also leveraged a joined-up government approach to the pandemic, while mobilising the support of the people of Jamaica to help to protect us all from the COVID-19 risk, including the provision of some $775 million in financial support to our health authorities to help meet the needs associated with the response efforts,” Dr. Tufton said.

He also informed that $89 million has been spent on infrastructural upgrades, including equipping hospitals with an additional 63 intensive care and high-dependency units.

Also, some $1.7 billion has been spent on the provision of medical equipment, such as personal protective gear and COVID-19 test kits.

In addition, more than $500 million has been spent to procure prescription drugs through the National Health Fund, to ensure the effective treatment of the symptoms of persons with COVID-19.

“Other costs include the retrofitting of facilities to quarantine and/or isolate and care for persons who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19,” Dr. Tufton said.

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