Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says infirmaries have been assessed and provisions are being made to ensure their responsiveness to any possibility of COVID-19.
He was speaking at a meeting of the Special Select Committee of Parliament on COVID-19, on Thursday (May 7).
“We have had discussions around using the mobile units to do testing for caregivers. Since the last meeting [of the committee] I know we have had discussions around testing caregivers and that was to be put in train or has been put in train,” Dr. Tufton noted.
Regarding nursing homes, the Minister said he has asked for an assessment to be undertaken, as “not many of them are registered as they fail to meet the standard.”
“So, they are literally operating unofficially or informally, but I have asked for not just visits, but also for the follow-up to ensure that the protocol for COVID-19, which is established for nursing homes, be given to all of these facilities, not just the ones that are registered on the books,” Dr. Tufton said.
“In exploring why so many are not registered, the simple response is that they fail to meet the standard that has been set. I have taken a pragmatic approach not to ignore the unregistered, recognising the risk that they pose, but to zero in on the COVID response to ensure all are notified on some very basic things that need to be put in place,” he added.
As of May 7, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Jamaica is 488.