ONE-MINUTE READS ... News from across Jamaica

September 28, 2021
Persons waiting at the Spanish Town Health Centre on Sunday waiting to get vaccinated.
Persons waiting at the Spanish Town Health Centre on Sunday waiting to get vaccinated.
Policemen clean an avenue on Monday that was blocked by protesters and friends and relatives of Biana Velizaire, 27, who was kidnapped for five days by gang members, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The police launched a special operation in the most exposed areas of kidnappings to respond to the recent surge in this criminal activity conducted by gangs.
Policemen clean an avenue on Monday that was blocked by protesters and friends and relatives of Biana Velizaire, 27, who was kidnapped for five days by gang members, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The police launched a special operation in the most exposed areas of kidnappings to respond to the recent surge in this criminal activity conducted by gangs.
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Oshane Thompson, a former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, has been found guilty of murder following his trial in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

Thompson was charged in relation to the fatal shooting of Kriston Pearson at a party in Trinity, St Mary, in May 2017. The cop was charged by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) following a probe that uncovered that the deceased and the former police officer had an altercation, which resulted in the shooting incident.

The constable resigned from the police force and left the island for the United States of America shortly after being interviewed by INDECOM. He was arrested on August 30, 2018 following his deportation to Jamaica, and was subsequently charged following a ruling by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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Trade unions urge workers to take vaccine

Trade union leaders have joined the growing number of persons and organisations across the society urging more Jamaicans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Executives of the umbrella Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) and their affiliates made the appeal at a recent COVID-19 Vaccination Implementation Programme press conference, hosted by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, during which they endorsed the national effort by the Government.

JCTU President, Helene Davis Whyte, said the confederation noted "with concern" the increasing number of hospitalisations and deaths arising "from what has been termed ... the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica".

Davis Whyte, who is also general secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers, pointed out that while the JCTU acknowledged that the vaccines do not provide immunity from the virus, "they do prevent severe illness, hospitalisation and death".

Davis Whyte encouraged well-thinking Jamaicans to play their part in the country's achieving the 65 per cent target of the population being vaccinated by March 2022.

"We believe this is essential to us being able to return to some kind of normality... where we are able to meet each other and socialise and be back in our workspaces in a comfortable kind of way," she said.

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PATH students to benefit from Scotia CSEC programme

The Scotia Jamaica Foundation will be supporting 1,000 students who will be sitting the CSEC examinations in 2022 through a partnership with One on One Educational Services Ltd. The bank said that 75 per cent of the available spaces will be reserved for students enrolled on the PATH programme.

Applications for the programme commenced on Monday. The online-based exam preparation programme will begin on October 19, and includes live classes in seven subject areas, past paper reviews, SBA preparation, video-based tutorials and academic coaching.

"We want every Jamaican child to be successful and realise their full potential and we are strongly encouraging parents of students sitting CSEC next year to register for this beneficial and timely programme which we are certain will assist them in their academic pursuits," said Audrey Tugwell Henry, president and CEO of the Scotia Group and Chair of the Scotia Jamaica Foundation.

To register for the programme which has been endorsed by both the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, parents and guardians are asked to visit www.OneX.co/scotiafoundation.

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Bustamante gets new beds

The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund has gifted the island's only public children's hospital, the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC), with 15 specialty beds.

The beds will improve the standard of care received by patients and shorten recovery time, thereby increasing bed availability for new patients.

"Those beds were used a day after they were delivered and have helped BHC tremendously, because they came when we started to see an increase in the patients," CEO of the BHC, Camile Wallen-Panton, said.

"The BHC, unlike other hospitals, has not been badly impacted by the patient load due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but at the same time we have seen a rise in other illnesses," she added.

Wallen-Panton points out that the beds were allocated to the various wards and explains how they met the required bed specifications.

"The beds that we received were the right specifications. They have the required two-side rail that can be adjusted, and they also have safety wheels that can be locked to make the bed immobile. The beds are outfitted with an Intravenous stand and are beautifully coloured, which brightens the ward," she said.

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