The Government is to recruit up to 1,000 health aides and other professionals to staff health facilities in the fight against COVID-19.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure while speaking with medical personnel at the Annotto Bay Hospital in St. Mary on Saturday, May 9.
He said that the objective is to ensure that the health sector is adequately staffed to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and other areas of public health.
Dr Tufton said that as part the COVID-19 response, public health workers have been visiting communities to safeguard the health of the population through contact tracing and education, while also attending to other needs at health facilities.
The Minister did not give details of when the recruitment would begin or levels of qualification needed.
“We are putting in a new plan for dealing with COVID-19, over the next 12 months, which is going to see us recruiting additional personnel to expand capacity, so that we can focus on COVID, while we can do the other things that we are expected to do,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Health Minister, who was at the Annotto Bay Hospital to view work on the new isolation ward and engage with staff at the institution, used the occasion to meet with community persons, who are under a 14-day quarantine, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the parish.
Dr. Tufton also met with members of the security forces, who are manning checkpoints.
The communities of Annotto Bay, Dover and Enfield were placed under quarantine with effect from Thursday, May 7, at 6:00 am to Thursday, May 21, at 6:00 am. The parish health department is conducting contact tracing in the areas.
On Saturday evening, the Ministry of Health announced that two of eight persons tested positive were from Enfield community. They are in isolation. Up to Thursday, 13 persons in the three communities had tested positive for COVID-19.