Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton has announced that, considering the major increase expected in confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), many people who test positive will start staying at home instead of being isolated at public hospitals.
He said those people are the ones who are asymptomatic – not showing any symptom.
“What the studies and the projections are saying is that the majority of persons who have the virus won’t feel any symptoms; they are asymptomatic; they won’t have the fever, the cold, headache and so on. Now, that could mean hundreds and thousands of us in Jamaica based on our population… You won’t need hospital care and you won’t have enough hospital beds to put people in hospital who are asymptomatic,” he further explained.
“The country must come to terms with the reality that many will have the virus and will have to be treated at home… I am saying to Jamaica, increasingly expect persons living in your community – maybe in your household – who are positive for Coronavirus, but not sufficiently ill to go to hospital.”
The minister, during a digital press conference in Kingston last evening, noted that patients who will be treated at home can recover. They will be encouraged to self-isolate, rest, take medication and consume nutritious meals.
Dr. Tufton also called for an end to discrimination against people who test positive for COVID-19, adding that anyone can contract the virus.
He also said the big increase expected in the number of positive cases should not be considered a failure on the part of Government and the healthcare workers.
“The country needs to appreciate that, over time, the virus is going to move across the country and you are gonna have more persons getting the virus. It is not an indication of failure on the part of the public health officials, on the part of the government, on the part of the country. It’s just the way it works. The virus is highly contagious – very easy to pick up…,” the health minister further said.
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