Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says the spread of conspiracy theories is threatening to undermine the country’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“There are too many COVID-19 conspiracies that are unfortunately dominating mainstream conversations. They do nothing for the COVID-19 response but undermine the strategic thinking and the collaborative effort that is so necessary to advance an effective and efficient strategy to overcome this treat to the Jamaican people,” he noted.
Dr. Tufton was addressing the contract signing ceremony for two additional field hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, at the Falmouth Public General Hospital in Trelawny on Friday (September 25).
He cited for example, conspiracies surrounding the general election and when it was called, whether vaccination is being pushed on black people, and the spread of misinformation related to drug trials.
“There are things being circulated about whether we are doing this in the interest of the people or doing in the interest of the industry,” he added.
The Health Minister is imploring persons to seek clarification on matters relating to COVID-19 from relevant and credible sources, noting that the Government has a duty to address misunderstandings about the disease.
He assured that the Government is committed to the fight against COVID-19 and is concerned about the rising number of cases.
“Frankly speaking, we must not beat up on ourselves as a people and country because we have done fairly well to date. There are many societies that have had much more difficulties, some with far more resources than us and they never got it right until late in the day,” he pointed out.
Dr. Tufton hailed the public health workers for their sacrifice and contribution in the country’s response to the public health threat.
“They do it as their obligation to the health and wellness of the Jamaican people. We cannot allow the COVID-19 conspiracy theories to undermine their efforts,” he said.
The field hospitals for which the contracts were signed will be situated on the grounds of the Falmouth hospital and the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Centre in Kingston.
On Thursday (Sept. 24), the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), officially handed over a 70-bed field hospital at the National Chest Hospital, St. Andrew.
Following the contract signing ceremony, Dr. Tufton toured several sections of Falmouth where he and a team from the Ministry handed out face masks to members of the public.