Opposition says government not prepared for coronavirus

Dr Dayton Campbell

The parliamentary Opposition is accusing the government of not establishing proper protocols to deal with a possible spread of the coronavirus in Jamaica despite the major global scare.

Dr Dayton Campbell said the “test run” provided by a suspected case of coronavirus at the University Hospital of the West Indies that was highlighted in the media Tuesday (Jan 28), shows that there are gaping holes in the system.

Campbell was speaking in Parliament Tuesday afternoon.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has said that there is no case of the coronavirus in Jamaica. He reiterated in Parliament that it was out of an abundance of caution, that tests were conducted on an individual who returned from China about two weeks ago and is now experiencing flu-like symptoms. He pointed out that this isn’t the first time the health system has had to respond to a new virus or has had to keep viruses out.

“I wouldn’t sell ourselves short by being overly critical of a health system that may have some inefficiencies but is resilient,” Tufton said. He said that Jamaica is responding to the situation in collaboration with bilateral and multilateral partners.