Thursday 26 November, 2020

Health minister issues dengue threat warning

With the recent increased rainfalls across the country, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is imploring the nation to be mindful of the danger of the mosquito borne dengue fever disease even as the nation grapples with the community phase spread of COVID-19.

“I don’t want a de-emphasis on vector management and control, even while we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, which we are currently placing a dominance on,” implored the health minister.

He called on all stakeholders such as community members and health care workers to intensify their efforts to destroy breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits the dengue virus.

He stressed that all should be done to prevent a reoccurrence of last year's outbreak of the disease.

“The rains are on us again and normally this time of the year the index or indices around breeding sites, mosquito population and of course by extension the threat level is increased ... so it is very important that while we are confronted by the challenges of COVID-19.

We do not lose sight of the public health threat that the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and by extension, dengue represents,” he said.

“I want to signal to the country… that we are taking the vector management programme seriously and that we are going to go out there and do what is necessary.

I also want to signal to the country that it is absolutely essential that we all play our part, as would be the case with any other public health threat as citizens to restrict the breeding sites by destroying those in and around our homes,” Said Tufton.

He was speaking at a parish management and vector control meeting at the Falmouth Public General Hospital.

Prior to the meeting the health and wellness minister toured the 36-bed  field hospital that is under construction on the grounds of the hospital.

He said the facility is on track to be completed by the end of November.

"I came to take a quick look at the additional ward that this is being created for COVID-19. As you can see, the foundation is in place. We have a lot of issues in terms if rain. I an told that the rain comes daily and it has somewhat slowed down the process. I understand from the contractor and the team (hospital) here that the project is still on target for the end of November," Dr Tufton said.

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