Montego Bay welcomes 72% of the country’s visitors annually at the Sangster’s International Airport while the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston welcomes the remaining 28%.
Understanding this, the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is calling for the government to quickly activate a quarantine area in western Jamaica, which will help to combat the entrance of the Coronavirus into the island.
The PNP’s spokesman on Health Dr. Morais Guy, in a statement this morning, says that Jamaica’s western belt must be adequately resourced to provide guaranteed protection against the virus.
The St. Joseph’s Hospital has been identified as the latest quarantine facility, and Dr. Guy isn’t pleased.
He argues that the distance between the island’s western gateways and the facility, is too far and could become a problem in transporting infected persons, stating this could also cause the virus to spread to the public.
In the statement, Dr. Guy questions the availability of the isolation/treatment facility at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) and its functionality, stating that it is the Opposition’s view that “it would be more cost-effective to relocate the present laboratories and reopen that specialized facility which was set up at CRH for Ebola, as it was built with infection containment specifications.”
Dr Guy wants the government to ensure that there are proper containment measures so that the coronavirus does not reach the island’s shores, including putting in place all the dots that are needed and making all the necessary funding available.
The opposition spokesman also said that his party “still questions the preparedness of the country as we are concerned that apart from making statements, there is not much more that is being done.
“We have already questioned the state of preparedness of the isolation unit at the National Chest Hospital, as well as those at the public hospitals.
“The non-availability of protective clothing/material is another concern. With the increasing scarcity of these necessary materials (the vast majority being produced in China and with the almost shut down of industry there, plus the urgent need to mobilize resources for itself), we question once again the statement that we are prepared.”
For the PNP: let us be safe rather than sorry, and try to fix when the country could have been protected.