40 more beds for COVID-19 patients in Clarendon
US says more Pfizer vaccines will be comingFriday, September 17, 2021
BY NIKEL INNERARITY
MAY PEN, Clarendon — There are now 40 more hospital beds available to COVID-19 patients in Clarendon.
This was made possible through a donation, on Wednesday, of a US$850,000-field hospital from the American Government, whose local representative used the occasion to assure Jamaicans that the United States will soon make a promised delivery of more Pfizer vaccines.
The field hospital now brings to more than 300 the number of beds added to the country's toolkit in its battle with COVID-19. It is the second donated by the Americans who, in September 2020, provided a similar emergency health facility to the National Chest Hospital in Kingston.
“We are working to establish similar emergency hospitals at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Savanna-la-Mar, Mandeville and Falmouth,” said Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton. “These additional beds will create capacity of more than 350 beds, which is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to the treatment of the COVID-19 virus.”
The health minister thanked the US Government for its contribution and support to Jamaica as the island battles the pandemic.
“This generous donation shows the strength of the relationship and symbolises the collaboration that is necessary to confront and overcome this pandemic,” Tufton said. “And so the US is once again demonstrating the leadership that we expect of them as a good friend to not just Jamaica, but the region.”
Also speaking during the ceremony, charge d'affaires at the US Embassy in Kingston John McIntyre stressed that Jamaica remains “a priority” for Washington which is committed to providing a second shipment of the Pfizer vaccines, as promised.
Pfizer jabs were halted by the health ministry on Wednesday as the wait begins for the second shipment of the vaccine from the US, which is expected within the next two to three weeks.
“[Jamaica] will receive a second donation of the Pfizer vaccine, and maybe more. It is an incredible success, the fact that the demand for vaccine is so high, and the people of Jamaica should be proud,” McIntyre said. “There is no clinical reason to stress if there is a delay of a week or two, so everything is on track.”