Norwood healthy and safe — Dr Tufton

Regional

Norwood healthy and safe — Dr Tufton

Thursday, July 16, 2020

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NORWOOD, St James -Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has reassured residents in Norwood that the inner-city community is “healthy and well”.

“So, I say to the people of St James, Norwood is healthy and well and must be given the same treatment as any other community in the parish of St James,” said Dr Tufton, as he addressed a COVID-19 and dengue community meeting there last week.

The reassurance by the minister comes on the heels of reports that Norwood has been stigmatised due to recent COVID-19 positive cases in the community.

On June 26, the Western Regional Health Authority carried out community surveillance activities in Bond Lane, Norwood, following a number of confirmed cases in the area.

Some eight family members of a confirmed case, who returned to the island from the United States of America in June, were infected.

“As a people, we must understand that we must be a part of the solution and we must not discriminate and have up anybody, or any community,” the health minister argued.

One resident, who did not want to be named, told the Jamaica Observer West that the community feels threa

“It [coronavirus] was all over the country and we did not feel anyway, but now it is at our back doors, we feel threatened by it, we are fearful,” the citizen expressed.

The young man, who claimed that he works at a call centre in the parish, said workers at the company were sent home out of an abundance of caution, after it was revealed that and employee there is a family member of one of the confirmed cases in the community.

“I don't have the virus, but it is in the area [Norwood], so they [his employer] are taking precautions. They don't want us to come into the zone with it, so they say we must stay at our yard,” stated the Norwood resident.

He added that he has been out of a job for over two weeks, which is making life challenging for him and his colleagues.

The business process outsourcing worker said he, however, understands the precautionary move taken by his employer.

Tufton, during his address earlier to the health workers and citizens, disclosed that there are also reports of taxi operators refraining from transporting citizens of Norwood.

“And, I hear that taxi drivers sometimes don't want [to] carry people, because they hear sey they come from Norwood. Because we [Norwood] had cases, they think it is thousands of cases. It is not everybody in Norwood has corona… we have to put a stop to that. We have to change the behaviour, we have to understand that the coronavirus is going to pop up in many communities around the country, and has,” said the health and wellness minister.

Meanwhile, Tufton said additional community health aides are to be employed in St James to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

“What we have done as a Government is to hire an additional 1,200 community health aides and St James is to get 107 of them,” said Dr Tufton.

He said the additional health workers will be the “army” that will be working with the public health officers, public health inspectors, public health nurses, and other community health aides on the ground.


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