Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton says 21 people have died from the Dengue virus so far this year.

The dengue update is among a number of issues highlighted by the Health and Wellness Ministry during its latest quarterly media briefing at its New Kingston offices this morning.

Minister Tufton also says the government is committed to easing the strain on the health system by injecting additional nurses into the health sector.

According to Dr. Tufton, there’s been an up-tick in suspected Dengue-related deaths so far this year, when compared to 2018.

Dr. Tufton says an additional $130 million will be spent at the parish level for vector control activities.

He’s urging people to cooperate with the 1200 vector control workers who were deployed a week ago.

According to the Health and Wellness Minister, the government’s planned rollout of an intervention programme to reduce wait time in hospitals will begin in September.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton says the health system will also get a boost as the Finance Ministry has approved funding for an additional 1500 nurses to be injected into the public health sector.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton says the implementation of the government’s nutritional policy of restricting sugary beverages in schools has been a success so far.

Dr. Tufton says the government is prepared to launch a more comprehensive nutritional policy in schools for the new school year.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister. He was speaking at a quarterly media conference at the Ministry’s New Kingston office today.