THE Government is documenting information about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in order to better understand the virus, improve the management and treatment of the infection, while boosting the resilience of the country’s public health system.
Speaking in a recent interview with JIS News, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton said work is under way to ensure that the country and those in the health system learn from the pandemic.
“We have an Epidemiology Unit headed by Dr [Karen] Webster Kerr and we are documenting all that is happening…because we need to learn from this experience and we need to use this experience to make the public health system more resilient. It is something that we need to do and it is something that I am pushing for,” he said.
Dr Tufton noted that the health ministry is collaborating with The University of the West Indies (UWI) to document responses being generated through a call centre being manned by medical students.
The Government has instituted several measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica, including the closure of all business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities for 14 days starting yesterday; the mandatory wearing of masks in public; an islandwide curfew from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am daily; closure of the country’s airports and seaports to incoming travellers; a stay-at-home order for people 70 years and older and having non-essential employees work from home; limiting public gatherings to not more than 10 people; and the closure of schools, among other directives.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness has also recommended that persons practise proper hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap and running water or using hand sanitiser, and observing social distancing by staying six feet away from others when in public.
The social distancing rule is particularly important in preventing persons from coming into contact with droplets from the coughing or sneezing of others who are sick.
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