More ventilators to fight COVID-19

April 18, 2020
Minister of Health and Wellness , Dr. the Hon. Christopher (left), does a temperature check on representative of the Chinese community in Montego Bay, Yangsen Li (right), as he presents 30 thermal scanners to the Ministry on the community's behalf. Observing at centre is Chairman of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Eric Clarke. Occasion was a press briefing hosted by the ​Ministry at the Sandals Inn in Montego Bay, St. James, recently.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, says the number of ventilators on the island are set to triple, due in part to the number of donations from private entities over the past few weeks.

The Minister was addressing journalists at a press conference held recently at the Sandals Inn in Montego Bay, St. James.

“We have been getting some additional ventilators over the last few weeks and the aim, ultimately, by next month (May) is to have between 90 and 100 ventilators in the public health system,” Tufton said.

“The public health system up to COVID-19 had about 25 to 30 ventilators, so we are literally tripling the number of ventilators. They will be deployed across the country in the relevant hospitals as we prepare the COVID wards across the system, and that is to deal with more serious patients who require hospital care and [have] a high-dependency on intensive care unit care,” he added.

Among the organisations that have donated ventilators to the Ministry is the European Union (EU), which recently donated 29 ventilators, valued at €1 million (approximately J$149 million).

Tufton said the Ministry has also received donations of N95 masks, protective shields and gloves.

The Minister further noted that the Ministry has been procuring and storing a number of personal protective gear in anticipation of an “expanded need or usage in our public health system”.

Meanwhile, the Chinese community in Montego Bay made a donation of 30 handheld thermal scanners to the Ministry at the press briefing.Tufton expressed gratitude to the community as well as other organisations in western Jamaica that have been providing support to the Ministry in the fight against COVID-19.

He also commended the Sandals Resorts International Group for allowing the Government to use the Sandals Inn property in Montego Bay as a quarantine facility in light of COVID-19.

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