Monday 6 April, 2020

St Ann MC launches plan to combat coronavirus, dengue fever

Michael Belnavis (file photo)

Michael Belnavis (file photo)

As fear escalates across the globe over the coronavirus, now called COVID-19, the St Ann Municipal Corporation has launched a plan designed to combat the virus, along with dengue fever.

In speaking at the launch of the plan of action, Chairman of the parish's Municipal Corporation, St Ann’s Bay Mayor, Michael Belnavis, said the plan is aimed at both eradicating dengue-carrying mosquitoes and eliminating the threat of the coronavirus.

While assuring that St Ann faced no immediate threat from coronavirus, Belnavis said the parish had to remain proactive in the case of any eventuality.

He revealed too, that the plan to eliminate the threat of coronavirus included, the establishment of quarantine areas at the St Ann's Bay Hospital, and for cruise ships being turned away if "issues" were detected on board.

"We have established and set up quarantine facilities within the scope of the parish at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital. These quarantine areas will be in place for individuals who for some reason come in via cruise ship(s) or through other ports to include airports.

"If you're coming from an area that is being affected by the coronavirus, you will be in quarantine for 14 days, if at all accepted, for example, if cruise ships were to come to Jamaica and there are perhaps issues on the ship, then the ship itself will not be accepted," Belnavis explained.

A day earlier at the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, the parish's Medical Officer of Health, Dr Tamika Henry, assured that St Ann's Bay Hospital had identified areas where persons with flu-like symptoms who had a travel history to China, or came in contact with infected persons, can also be kept for translocation.

Meanwhile, Belnavis told residents at Friday's launch of the plan of action that although the parish is still having issues with dengue, the problem is being successfully dealt with.

He announced that a clean-up drive will be carried out in the resort town of Ocho Rios on Saturday, aimed at primarily eradicating mosquito breeding sites and ensuring the town is clean.

The mayor urged residents to practise proper hygiene and ensure that their environment is kept clean in a bid to prevent dengue.

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