Opposition calls for independent probe into deaths during Jamaica’s oxygen crisis

The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) on Sunday (September 5) said it wanted an independent investigation into the COVID-19 deaths that occurred during the period for which oxygen was reported as being in short supply.

The PNP that the Ministry of Health & Wellness needs to publish accurate data on the numbers of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients who died in hospitals between August 27, 2021 and August 30, 2021, the period for which there was a shortage of oxygen in hospitals across the island.

“The Opposition calls on the Ministry of Health & Wellness to report the data on the Covid and non-Covid deaths during that period on a hospital by hospital basis, without delay,” read a release from the party.

According to the PNP, the oxygen crisis has had a devastating effects on Jamaica’s healthcare system over the past week.

“There are reports of patients being manually ventilated with masks and ambu bags which are popularly referred to as bagging, and of others (including a pregnant woman and her baby) who died as a result of the lack of oxygen,” added the party in the release.

It further said that the nation’s citizen were deeply concerned about the number of deaths that occurred over the period for which there was an oxygen shortage.

The PNP used the occasion to remind the public to continue to wear their masks as well as to maintain social distancing and avoid large crowds where possible.