Health workers appeal for COVID compliance

August 10, 2021
Ambulance driver Phillip Taylor.
Ambulance driver Phillip Taylor.

Two frontline workers in the local public health sector are calling on Jamaicans to display greater care towards the well-being of themselves and others. Their appeal comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Phillip Taylor, an ambulance driver at the St Ann's Bay Hospital, has seen the effects of the virus which has claimed 1,231 lives in Jamaica since last March. He said that one of his cousins is numbered among the dead. He has also had to transport many COVID-19 patients who were fighting for their lives.

Taylor said that his cousin, who was in her 30s, died in March.

"I was very angry when she died because I had spoken to her a couple of times about wearing the mask and taking the necessary precautions, but she didn't listen. She would go out and party, and I get to understand that there are a lot more like her who aren't taking these warnings seriously," said Taylor, who had just transferred a patient from St Ann's Bay Hospital to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

Average of 52 cases per day

The Government yesterday said that the number of COVID-19 cases have increased sharply from an average of 52 cases per day in June, with 1,572 new cases being recorded. The first 13 of July saw the average daily cases of 52 being maintained. However, the daily average for new cases jumped to 135 from July 14 to the end of the month. The number of new cases from August 1-8 was 238 cases per day, with 1,903 new cases being recorded.

Taylor is fearful that things could get worse, and has appealed to Jamaicans to follow the guidelines put in place.

"Listen to the Government, they are trying their best to save lives. Do what is best for you and the person that lives at home with underlying illnesses."

Similarly, a janitor at the KPH noted that the facility is bursting at the seams and blamed non-compliance with the COVID-control measures for the current situation.

"Right now the respiratory area full up back again and from wah day a baay elderly people a come in with breathing problem. Dis mawnin mi deh deh normal wid a patient and the patient dead likkle later, but mi cyah tell if a di virus cause it," the janitor said.

The sanitation worker said that a tightening of the COVID-control measures could help bring things under control.

"Bwoy mi wouldn't mind Anju bring back the curfew to all 6 p.m. each day, close back di rivers and beaches, and cut all parties," he said hours before Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced a tightening of the measures.

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