WHO head lauds Jamaica’s Chris Tufton for sound national response to COVID-19

Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton (left) gets a stamp of approval from World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has showered praises on Jamaica’s Minister of Health Christopher Tufton for the island’s comprehensive approach to containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Ghebreyesus, responding to a video of Tufton touring the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) on Sunday, thanked the minister for his leadership in the face of the pandemic.

“Thank you so much for your leadership – and preparedness – for #COVID19, @christufton,” he tweeted on Tuesday morning (March 17).

“#Jamaica Being ready for #coronavirus is key to pushing it back fast. Together, for a safer world!” the WHO chief exclaimed.

In the video, Tufton explained that his visit to the UHWI was to view final touches to the new isolation ward at the St Andrew facility, as well as monitoring mechanisms to ensure medical protocols are strictly adhered to.

“We went to see the work that is almost complete to create a number of isolation rooms on a bloc to be classified to deal with the coronavirus. The features of the rooms include a bed, ventilators, cameras to actually observe the patients from the nurses’ station, plus to give the indication as to when the medical personnel have to go into the room to interact with the patient,” the minister said in the video, published on Monday.

“[The rooms are] going to be fully equipped to provide the measures that are necessary to isolate the patient to not put the medical staff at risk and to give the patient the best possible chance to recover. I’m very pleased the University Hospital of the West Indies is putting in place these measures. We’re trying to do that in all hospitals across Jamaica,” Tufton added.

Watch the video snippet below:

As at Monday (March 16) 6:05 pm, Jamaica has confirmed 12 COVID-19 cases, the largest number from the Caribbean’s 73 cases across 19 countries and territories.