By: Shemar Alleyne
With the death toll and infection rate of the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases growing exponentially, former Minister of Health, Volda Lawrence, contends that this is due to the Health Minister’s inability to manage the pandemic.
There are more than 900 active COVID-19 cases in the country, with a whopping 151 deaths, including a 6 day- old baby.
“Over the last couple of months, we have noticed this dramatic increase in deaths, owed to COVID-19, and I believe that this is sadly due to the current Minister of Health’s inability to build on the successes we would have had in our fight against COVID-19,” Lawrence posited.
Lawrence pointed out that she would have left a “solid public health system” with local measures such as lessons learnt and best practices from countries that would have managed to curb the spread of the deadly virus after demitting office.
“Unfortunately, we would have noted that some of the strategies that are being employed by the Ministry of Health are very poor. The new Task Force and leaders of the Ministries seems to believe that home isolation and clinical clearance at an early date rather than retesting is doing us well.”
She noted that the current home isolation plan that was initiated under the Government should be reviewed.
She added that the Minister should ensure that there is requisite space within the patient’s home for social distancing and that there is no cross- contamination.
“Rather than what we have seen to my mind, that the Government has passed the baton to the people because they are so many of these people in home isolation without a proper review to say whether persons are economically sound to be able to take care of a COVID patient.”
Lawrence added, “So, we have seen a transfer of care and cost to the citizens instead of the Government protecting the people. So, one would note that the key rise in cases is basically due to these issues which I have just outlined.”
In offering recommendations to tackle this growing problem, Lawrence urged the Health Minister to return to the drawing board and review the strategies that are working from those that are not.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony had said that persons who would have died from the virus had underlying conditions.
The Ministry of Health on Wednesday recorded 26 new COVID-19 cases from 259 tests, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 5,449.