An additional 40 hospital beds specifically for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been added to the healthcare system, with the installation of the second field hospital at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine on Friday.
According to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, the field hospital can be adjusted to accommodate 60 beds and was placed at Spanish Town Hospital because of the number of cases.
The field hospital is the second of two that has been installed in Jamaica. The first, which was completed in early March was placed at the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny and can accommodate 36 patients.
Both field hospitals are gifts from the Government of the United States of America (USA) and were handed over to the Government of Jamaica in September.
The facility at Spanish Town Hospital was originally scheduled to be installed at the National Chest Hospital in St Andrew but was moved to facilitate the spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation in St Catherine.
According to Tufton, the facility has all the necessary amenities to properly administer care for the ill.
“It’s 40 bed currently, but could be upgraded to 60 beds and it has all the infrastructure – the air conditioning, the sanitisation control, the equipment (and) the capacity to use portable oxygen to support COVID cases.
“So this will officially be an additional 40, possibly 60 beds for COVID patients. Currently, the hospital has over 70 patients, of course taking up a lot of the space and really putting the staff under pressure,” Tufton said in a social media post.