Nine of Jamaica hospitals at capacity; over half at ‘red alert’

Nine of Jamaica’s 22 hospitals are at one hundred per cent capacity or greater while more than half are at ‘red alert’.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton

These include the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Falmouth Public General, Annotto Bay Hospital, Port Maria Hospital, Mandeville Regional Hospital, Kingston Public Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and Spanish Town Hospital.

The revelation was made during a coronavirus update by the health ministry today.

Led by Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, the virtual briefing presented an update on the island’s hospitalisations and the grave challenge posed by the pandemic.

Additionally, of the island’s 22 hospitals, 13 are at red alert, which puts them at greater than 84% occupancy level for isolation capacity.

To increase waning capacity, the ministry said field hospitals are being built at Falmouth Public General Hospital in Trelawny, St Joseph’s Hospital in Kingston and the Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester.

The Andrews Memorial Hospital has also been approached to accommodate the overflow of non-COVID patients, an arrangement which is now in effect.

Authorisation has also been granted for regional health authorities to hire additional staff based on their needs.

Jamaica recorded 147 additional positive cases from 582 samples over the past 24 hours. Almost 22,000 people have been infected and 405 related fatalities reported.