Westmoreland Caretaker Calls for Disaster Zone Designation

PNP caretaker for Eastern Westmoreland, Luther Buchannan is calling on the Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, to declare Westmoreland a disaster parish. In a statement on Sunday, August 29, he called for the Godfrey Stewart High School to be made a secondary health care facility, where non-COVID-19 cases would be treated.

This call comes as the Savanna-La-Mar Public General Hospital has been overrun with patients suffering from COVID-19. Staff continues to work to treat them even as oxygen supplies ran low. Buchanan says would allow the hospital to focus its treatment on COVID-19 cases.

Buchanan, who wants Westmoreland to be declared a disaster parish, acknowledges that an undertaking of this nature will require more human and financial resources. In his statement, he points to the net international reserve to help with costs. However, he notes building human resources would take an all-hands-on-deck approach.

The Westmoreland caretaker suggests that private or retired health care professionals could be enlisted to help at the secondary facility. In a press release shared by the ministry of health and wellness, it is understood that school nurses and private health care workers are undergoing vaccination training.

More in this CVM Live story from Jhanielle Powell: