By Avellon Williams
MONTEGO BAY, ST JAMES — About 48 of the 377 nurses assigned to the Cornwall Regional Hospital are now in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 patients and suspected of contracting the respiratory disease while on duty at the facility.
Dr. Delroy Fray, Clinical coordinator at the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) said, ‘ 48 of the pool of nurses include registered and practical nurses”, adding that doctors have also been quarantined after being exposed to the COVID-19 patients.
“When you are looking after COVID-19 patients and we suspect that you might be exposed to the disease then we will have to put you off work until we are sure that you are not infectious before you come back, it is customary to quarantine healthcare workers who have been exposed and are suspected to have contracted a disease. “
He said that the 48 out-of-service nurses have forced the matron to “juggle” other nurses to fill the gap.
“So what that means is every shift the matron… has to adjust her roster to fit what needs to be done. So it’s a bit of a juggling. Sometimes we have to bring back nurses from leave, sometimes we have to move some from the clinic area to come over. So that type of juggling is required. So that is what is happening,” he said.
Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton revealed last Thursday that the Mu variant of COVID-19 was now in Jamaica, noting that 26 of 90 samples tested confirmed the latest variant of the virus, whereas in St. Vincent and the Grenadines samples were taken from five positive patients. The World Health Organization (WHO) which designated the Mu as a variant of interest, has informed, that it is now present in forty countries of the world.