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Posted: Monday 30 August, 2021 at 12:16 PM

Jamaica Govt. sources oxygen after islandwide shortage

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -  AS the number of positive COVID-19 cases is rapidly increasing in Jamaica, health care facilities were reportedly faced with the problems of available space and low on oygen.


    The Government has however solved the latter; thanks to a private sector agency on the island.


    Persons lying on hospital floors and others grasping for care are some of the scenes playing out at health care facilities around the island, which had prompted government officials to once again appeal for people to get vaccinated.


    In a two-page statement, the Ministry of Health explained that it is pursuing all efforts to support all of the facilities that are either low on or out of oxygen. 


    The island had received several shipments of Pfizer and AstraZeneca Vaccines under the COVAX arrangement, but as efforts ramp up health officials are concerned about breaches of the island’s protocols which resulted in an uptick in the number of cases in recent weeks. 


    That situation had realised the hospitalisation of many people and forced the Government to source additional oxygen supply from a private sector agency. 


    The Government had expressed concern for those who are seriously ill with COVID-19 and other ailments that require critical care at the moment. And, as such, all surgeries were halted because there was no ventilated oxygen to provide.


    However, media reports out of Kingston late this morning (Aug. 30) confirmed that the Health Ministry did source oxygen from a private enterprise and tanks were seen entering the compound of one of the island’s hospitals.


    Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton also confirmed the arrival of the oxygen, writing on social media that "Bulk oxygen has arrived with distribution starting this morning at 4:45am. Thanks to the public health team, customs and IGL for this collaborative effort".


    On Saturday (Aug. 28) alone, Jamaica had recorded 929 new confirmed cases of the virus.


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