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Jamaican Hospitals Reaching the Brink

On the Covid-19 front in Jamaica, with almost 145 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients, Mandeville Regional Hospital (MRH) has resorted to placing some of those patients on mattresses and makeshift bed spaces where available. *At the same time, the facility yesterday also depleted its liquid oxygen supply and had to revert to the use of cylinders. Chief executive officer at regional facility Alwyn Miller told the *Jamaica Observer *that up to yesterday morning the hospital had about 40 suspected COVID-19 patients and almost 105 confirmed cases. Yesterday a photograph of patients on mattresses on the floor, said to be inside the hospital, went viral on social media. Miller explained that the moving of patients is temporary. He added that the hospital has been working with some partners to get some lounge chairs and some other such facilities to help to house the patients. He further noted that the there is a significant amount of COVID patients there is a need to accommodate them. Jamaica on Saturday recorded 929 new COVID-19 cases and 21 more deaths, pushing the total number of confirmed cases on the island since the outbreak to over sixty-six thousand, and the confirmed deaths to 1,504. There have been 48,095 recoveries. Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness has reported that all hospitals have been instructed to use the remaining oxygen conservatively as the island awaits the restoration of supplies.