Jamaica News: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says Jamaica is finalising its Living with COVID-19 Plan as the country makes the transition to a new normal brought on by the global pandemic.
Dr. Tufton was addressing the digital meeting of the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) on Monday, May 18.
He noted that although Jamaica’s interventions surrounding the disease to date have been focused on keeping the virus out of the country, it is necessary to make adjustments accordingly.
As such, he said that Jamaica has strengthened its 13 core capacities under the International Health Regulations (IHR).
These are Legislation and Financing, IHR Coordination and National IHR Focal Point Functions, Zoonotic Events and the Human–animal Interface, Food Safety, Laboratory; Surveillance, Human Resources, National Health Emergency Framework, Health Service Provision, Risk Communication, Points of Entry, Chemical Events, and Radiation Emergencies.
“The plan will focus on the attainment of the IHR targets, especially those that are in relation to responding to hazards of an infectious nature,” Dr. Tufton noted.
He said that the Ministry will also be building out processes for the controlled re-entry of Jamaicans, enhanced measures at points of entry, utilisation of technology to improve service delivery and data capture and analysis, laboratory strengthening as well as the development of policies that will guide the business and tourism sectors.
Dr. Tufton said that the health system must have the ability to sustain the present measures and to increase its capacity to manage more cases while continuing routine and emergency care for the non-COVID 19 health needs of the population.
He noted that the Ministry has already looked at the expansion of the community health worker programme and other workers in both primary and secondary care.
Dr. Tufton used the opportunity to thank health workers for their dedication to the cause.
“As we move forward, I would like to recognise and thank the hard-working healthcare workers of Jamaica and, indeed, of the entire world for the tremendous work that they have been doing in managing this pandemic,” he said.
He also congratulated the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica for the leadership that it has provided in this global public health crisis.
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO and is attended by delegations from all WHO member states.
World leaders and health officials from across the globe participated in the 73rd assembly from May 18 to19, 2020, which was held virtually for the first time due to the global health crisis.
Source: JIS News