Jamaica News: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says contact tracers have been effective in helping to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Jamaica.
Dr. Tufton, who was speaking to health workers at the Dover Community Centre in St. Mary on Saturday (May 9), noted that the health workers who visit communities to track down infected individuals and persons they may have exposed to the virus, do so at great personal risk, and they need the cooperation of citizens.
“I am convinced that the most effective weapon that we could employ in dealing with COVID is found in [persons] who take the public health risks, the personal risks to do the temperature checks. Your work is what has contributed to the number of cases being contained in the country,” he said.
“It has taken a lot out of you, so it is important that people understand what you do, which, hopefully, will encourage them to cooperate when you come around and do what you have to do,” he added.
Contact tracers warn people about their potential exposure, advise them to self-quarantine and help them to access necessary resources.
Stressing that the work of the contact tracers is “absolutely vital”, the Health Minister noted that they take action to confine movement in a space where spread of the virus is taking place.
“We don’t want to shut down entire parishes, because we understand the inconvenience to the people who live in these areas,” he noted.
The communities of Annotto Bay, Dover and Enfield were placed under quarantine with effect from Thursday, May 7 at 6:00 a.m. to Thursday, May 21 at 6:00 a.m. The parish health department is conducting contact tracing in the areas.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Dr. Norman Dunn, told JIS News that the decision to quarantine the communities has been “widely accepted” by residents.
He said that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been doing “a “tremendous job to satisfy the basic needs of persons”.
He is urging the residents to reach out to the contact tracers with specific requests, such as medication for the elderly, or call or message him at (876) 381-3784.
Source: JIS News