By Shermain Bique-Charles
The potentially lethal coronavirus has hit nine more medics at Mount St John’s Medical Centre, heaping pressure onto the country’s already struggling health care system.
The hospital’s head of marketing Salma Crump confirmed the news on Wednesday.
“People refer to folks on the frontline as heroes but they are just regular men and women that are taking care of people. This is what happens when you are on the frontline. This is what our workers are exposed to,” she told Observer yesterday.
Crump said the hospital is already struggling with staffing issues and the latest situation is not helping.
“We don’t have staff waiting in the wings if any members of our team get sick. So that’s why when we tell folks to wear a mask, we want them to take it seriously.
“When we say to social distance and we tell them every day to take this pandemic seriously…this is what we are trying to avoid. Our staff getting sick is what we are trying to avoid,” she said.
An emotional Crump said medical professionals are risking their lives every single day on the job.
“These are real people with real lives. They are not made out of anything different than any one of us. They have real families to go home to and real responsibilities,” she said.
“To meet them on the street and thank them, yes, great; we don’t want to take that for granted. We are grateful for the respect of the community but, ultimately, we want the public to do what is necessary to prevent these things from happening,” Crump added.
Last month, Information Minister Melford Nicholas revealed that a shortage of local medics had prompted government to consider soliciting a second brigade from Cuba to help fill the gap.
On February 18, nurses dressed in white uniform lined Friars Hill Road in a ‘guard of honour’ in tribute to fallen colleague Cynthia Byers who died of Covid earlier that week.