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Jamaica: Urgent call for retired nurses, docs as COVID pressure hits hospitals

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has made an urgent appeal for retired and active nurses, as well as doctors, to get involved in “sessional service” in the island’s public health facilities.

The plea came on Tuesday as Jamaica continues to be in the grip of a frightening third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that is being fuelled by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.

Pictures have emerged of hospitals bursting at the seams with patients sitting on chairs and even lying on floors as the facilities have filled up with patients. Healthcare workers are also suffering from fatigue, and a nurse who recently contracted the virus on the job died shortly after a bed was found for her after an extended wait.

Jamaica, as at Tuesday, August 24, had recorded a total of 63,464 cases of COVID-19, with 752 of those testing positive in the previous 24-hour period. Some 1,417 Jamaicans have succumbed to the respiratory disease since the first case on March 10, 2020.

At the same time, nearly 600 people are now occupying the roughly 700 hospital beds that are dedicated to COVID-19 patients.

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