JDF completes COVID-19 field hospital at National Chest

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Members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Engineering Regiment, under the guidance of United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) are in the completion stages of the construction of a field hospital at the National Chest Hospital in Kingston.

The facility which can hold up to 70 beds, is a gift from the United States government to the Government of Jamaica, and was funded through donations from the United States Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Programme.

The hospital will support Jamaican health and public-safety professionals in carrying out their duties.   It comes as a part of the United States Southern Command’s ongoing assistance to nations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

The SOUTHCOM funded hospital will serve as an extension of the National Chest Hospital.   It has the capacity to house up to 70 patient beds and will support health and public-safety professionals with all the tools to treat patients afflicted with COVID-19.

A team of civilian trainers are instructing Jamaican medical and support teams chosen to run the mobile hospital after its assembly is completed.  They are also providing support and instruction in its assembly, set up, use, disassembly, transportation, and storage.

SOUTHCOM is located in Doral, Florida and is one of 11 unified Combatant Commands in the United States’ Department of Defense.

It is responsible for providing contingency planning, operations, security cooperation and force protection of U.S. military resources in the Caribbean as well as Central and South America.

SOUTHCOM, which has responsibility for the defense of the Panama Canal, is a joint command comprised of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies.

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