As the Bustamante Hospital for Children records a growing number of COVID-19 admissions, the health minister is urging strict adherence to infection prevention and control protocols, and encouraging more Jamaicans to get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the University Hospital has now suspended non-essential admissions amid an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. The Bustamante hospital for children is seeing the highest number of paediatric covid-19 cases, including 23 confirmed and two suspected, while the results of 24 samples are pending.

The update from Senior Medical Cfficer, Dr. Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson urges parents and other family members to get vaccinated and minimize children’s exposure to the virus. Echoing the sentiment is Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, who says it’s absolutely critical that citizens also wear their masks, maintain social distancing and frequently wash and sanitize their hands.

On friday he said over 60 health care staff at the Bustamante Hospital were out due to the virus, causing roughly 10 clinics to be canceled.

Meanwhile, at the University Hospital of the West Indies, 10 per cent or approximately 200 of the medical staff are reportedly out due to the virus while the covid-19 areas within the emergency medicine division, including the field hospital, are at capacity.

Patients visiting the hospital have been advised to expect delays.