Some workers at Linstead Public Hospital in St. Catherine are accusing the facility’s management of keeping them in the dark about the situation at the hospital regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
They claimed that, based on information being circulated, a number of employees – including a member of the management team – have tested positive for the highly contagious virus.
They also claimed that some employees, who had tested positive, have been returning to work without receiving the standard second negative test, which would clear them to resume duties.
The Beacon has been trying for a week to get a response from the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Paul McIntyre, but we repeatedly were told that he is not in office. It is alleged that his absence is linked to the COVID-19 situation. When our news team called McIntyre’s personal phone, it initially rang without an answer. Shortly after, we received a response via text message. When we disclosed that our query was COVID-related, no further response came from the CEO’s phone. Questions sent to his email also have not been answered.
Furthermore, The Beacon contacted the Ministry of Health and Wellness, but its Communications Director repeatedly instructed us to contact the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA). We contacted SERHA, but were told that its substantive Public Relations Officer is on vacation. That agency, so far, has not been helpful in having the specific questions answered.
At least two other state-owned facilities, which are located close to Linstead Public Hospital, each previously confirmed one case of COVID-19. They are Linstead Police Station and Linstead Health Centre. Both of those places confirmed cases of the virus to The Beacon after employees, who requested anonymity, complained to us about COVID-related information being withheld from members of staff.
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