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Effective Wednesday (January 19, 2022), Jamaica’s public hospitals will be restricted to conducting emergency care services only. This comes as several of the island’s public hospitals face increased pressure due to the growing number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases. There is also decreased staff coverage as many healthcare workers are out sick.

Up to Sunday, there were some 682 persons in hospital isolation for COVID-19. Of that number, 486 were positive and another 196 suspected.

“All our hospitals are seeing increased numbers and several of the larger hospitals are over 90 per cent capacity with some over 100 per cent. At the same time, there is an increase in admissions for other illnesses. As a result, all public hospitals are operating on emergencies only,” said Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

“Persons should exercise discretion in going to the hospitals at this time,” the Minister added.

Elective cases are being postponed. Members of the public will be advised as to the new dates for these procedures.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to encourage all persons to get vaccinated. It is critical that all persons wear masks, wash hands frequently and exercise the six-feet physical distance rule. Members of the public are also to avoid gatherings and stay home if you are ill.

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