Custom officials fear Ebola could enter St. Lucia

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Custom officials fear Ebola could enter St. Lucia


Custom officials here, especially those working at the Hewanorra International Airport, are fearful that the Ebola virus could enter St. Lucia.

They have complained that no medical team is available at the airport to screen people, who they think may have the Ebola virus, even though promises were made to have this in place.

According to reports, several people from Nigeria, one of the countries affected by the virus, have already been granted stay in St. Lucia.

Other flights expected today, August 30 and in the new week will have more African nationals on board and could possibly be Ebola victims.

President of the Civil Service Association (CSA) has told the media that the custom officials plan to down tools today, if there is no medical team at the airport.

“If the next flight should arrive with anyone from West Africa, I do not believe the officers will attend to that flight.”

Isaacs said she had met with the officers who expressed dissatisfaction at the ministry for not acting fast enough.

The CSA president has said that the entire St. Lucia is at risk, but noted that custom officials are more vulnerable, given that they are the ones at the main port of entry.

Isaacs has urged the government to activate a medical team immediately.

On Friday, August 8, a man of Nigerian ancestry, but who resides in the United Kingdom, was flagged a suspected Ebola victim on a British Airways flight that was in transit in Saint Lucia and destined for Trinidad. However, this later proved to be a false alarm.

Following this incident, the Ministry of Health hosted a stakeholder consultation to discuss the Ebola virus and talk about preventative measures they had hoped to put in place.

The meeting was aimed at also reducing the possibility of importation and spread of the disease.

The plans discussed were to have all the port of entries, properly staffed with medical teams to respond to a possible threat of Ebola.

However, to date there have been no word regarding the activation of medical teams in different locations to assist with the detection of the Ebola virus.

This deadly disease is currently at epidemic levels in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea and Senegal.

The Ebola outbreak “continues to accelerate” in West Africa and has killed 1,552 people, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

The total number of cases stands at 3,069, with 40% occurring in the past three weeks

Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic disease that is transmitted through close personal contact with a person infected with Ebola.

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55 COMMENTS

  1. So, the accountability for the health of this nation has now fallen into the laps of Customs? Jesus ...! What has ever happened to the CMO?

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  2. im disappointed that the ministry did not take this seriously... ebola is a global threat and they acting as if its a joke. it only takes one person to have the virus for the entire island to be infected.and the way lucians like to touch everything it will not be long. look how chikungunya 'IS' an epidemic in st.lucia. we couldn't control that far less ebola. LET US PRAY FOR OUR LIVES ARE IN THE HANDS OF THE GOVERNMENT.just remember that your careless mistake can kill thousands and the cemetery does not have space. (-_-)

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  3. i still freaking out here. smh there is no space in the cemetery for all the lives that will be lost. the government of st.lucia needs to take action immediately. your careless mistake can kill thousands.

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  4. custom officers and flight attendance do not attend to this plane from africa i repeat plzzzzz do not attend to this plane. send that plan back i repeat. this disease is not chickun gunya bare this in mind plzzzzzz. take this message into consideration plzzzzzzzzzzzzz pllzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  5. You mean to tell me amid this ebola outbreak West African nationals are being granted stay here without being screened when they land? This is pure madness. We can hardly deal with the outbreak of chikungunya for crying out loud! This is Saint Lucia for you. No trained medical personnel at the Biggest airport? So what they expect the customs officers to do, they who are the first point of contact? Wearing a face mask and gloves is not adequate protection. My goodness.

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  6. The ministry of health and the WHO are working on it , why does the CSA have to get involved and make it political? SLU does not have direct flights from Africa nor do charter flights come directly from Africa. They will be screen in more than two countries before they even reach here . Panic never gets us anywhere . Read about the virus , even if they are screen here and go home and they start to show symptoms at home , what happens then .

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  7. If this virus ever enter one of these small Caribbean islands...We are doomed!! Do they know the population of these islands?? We are like a pin if placed in these bigger countries...This virus will wipe us all out considering there is NO CURE!! STEP THE HELL UP AND PUT PROCEDURES IN PLACE!!

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  8. One powerful reason why Avian or bird flu virus did not go pandemic is that it agricultural practices asociated with it were confined to peasantry settings in areas of the world where the victims typically stayed close to home.

    Not so if it gets outta control in Nigeria. Oil rich Nigeria has a vast globe trotting populace . Its a country with much GO QWEN dominance and not easy to take recommendations from outside.

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  9. Blah, Blahh, Blahhh. I am still waiting on ONE ST. LUCIAN to pop the question. When is the revolution going to start? I guess most have to go to work/school tomorrow so we will defer any action.

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  10. Can't URL see Dey eh care bout d Lucian's becuz the scientists trying to finish d black ppl so Dey can take over again n now we are at risk

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  11. The only one who can protect us is Yahuah. Now is the time to check ourselves to ensure we are living according to His Word. Now is the time to change our lives. Quit shacking up if you're not married, get out of the relationships with married people, flee fornication, quit lying, stealing even if it's an eraser, cleanse our mouths from swearing and obscene language, get out of religion and start reading the Bible to see how Yahusha kept the Sabbaths and Feasts. We are to emulate Him. He did away with the sacrificing of animals but NEVER His commandments. Flee homosexuality. Time to start pleasing the Father instead of our flesh. It's not about us. Even if it makes us feel good and we know it is not pleasing to the Father, we should stay away from it. Forsake the calendar of Rome and start following the Heavenly Father. There is a lot of prep work to be done. Let's fall on our knees humbly and ask for forgiveness in Yahusha's name. Let us make it right with our brothers and sisters. No two ways about it. The end is NEAR!

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  12. You all saying if ebolo reaches. How you all know its not already in St. Lucia. My ppl pwen garde.

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  13. What about me who have to deal with the growing passengers from Nigeria and other areas in west Africa on my flights.

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  14. WHO should use international funds to designate & staff Mandatory Quarantine and basic testing facilities at strategic checkpoints -preferably near the points of embarkation in affected W Africa.

    Astronauts from space flights did it as a safe guard against the unknown.

    This way the aircraft is also protected from
    being a latent vector. Some intercontinental flights disperse and reload at more than three airports enroute.

    Then these disembarking passengers transit to a wide variety of flights and other destinations. Do the multiplication on potential for a PANDEMIC

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  15. @ B A I agree with you 100%. These jokers DO NOT care about us. We as a people need to STOP waiting on government to do or help us. Its obvious that we are not freaking ready for Ebola. We have adopted a " whosover will" policy as regards to tourism so thats all that matters here. I back the customs officials 150%. Look out for youselves and family, research ways to boost your immune system and pray for your safety and protection!

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