Ebola medical team activated at Hewanorra International

Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Reporter

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The Ministry of Health has activated a small Ebola medical team at the Hewanorra International Airport in response to threats by customs officials to stage a protest.

Reports are that the officials at the airport were planning a protest on Saturday since there were no medical team in place to deal with an international flight that had African nationals, who could be possible Ebola victims.

President of the Civil Service Association (CSA) Mary Isaac told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today, September 1, that medical personnel were available for the first international flight on Saturday and this continued throughout the weekend.

Isaac noted that while it was a good move made by the ministry, she asserted that systems in this regard, should have been in place much longer.

“I think that is how St. Lucians operate: unless there is some real pressure exerted they don’t really put things in place. But, I believe that things are being put in place,” she added.

The CSA president said a full-fledge team is not yet in place and plans are now being made by the ministry to strengthen the team that has been there at St. Lucia’s main port of entry.

“Some people are saying that some international flights in transit here ought not to be an issue. But there is a concern there. You cannot depend on another country’s in-transit arrangement unless you have been told exactly what it is, for you not to put yours in place,” she explained.

She has also called on the government to activate a team at the George F.L. Charles Airport.

Isaac said during her meeting with customs officials last week, it was brought to her attention how these officials are handling this matter carefully, especially when dealing with the documentation of people from West Africa.

Isaac said this shows that these customs officials are not only concerned about their personal well-being, but they are also thinking about their country. “This is commendable…they are taking their job serious and we ought to take it serious too,” she stated.

Isaac referred to the case where Senegal has placed 20 people under surveillance after being exposed to Ebola from a college student, who entered from Guinea, saying that should also be a concern for St. Lucia, especially since African nationals come here to study.

“This is something we are not taking seriously enough, when we have so many students coming from Africa to medical universities here. So we have to be very careful, it’s not a matter of spreading propaganda, but the health authorities had so much time to put something in place and they have not put anything in place. We need to work fast,” she explained.

Efforts to contact Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks proved futile.

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

 

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19 comments

  1. Just propaganda done by the govmernemnt, another way to escape the problems and of course just another opportunity to blame African people.

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  2. People not only Africans travel from Africa! Americans, English, Europeans and the rest. Anyone who has travelled to Africa in the past month or so shouldn't be allowed to enter St Lucia period. What about the St Lucians who do charity work there? They won't be allowed back to their own country?

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  3. The Ministry of Health is not on top of the health situation in the country. Hundreds of people (maybe thousands) are affected by the Chikungunya virus, yet nothing is being said about that. People are suffering in quiet and some people have serious illnesses and a few have died from complications arising from Chikungunya, yet all we get is silence.
    This is very sad.

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  4. at this point in time i would think that it is safer to stop any african from entering st lucia

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  5. SO….IF THE AIRPORT WORKERS DID NOT STEP UP AND TALK…THE MINISTER OF HEALTH WOULD JUST LAY LOW AND DON'T DO S.. ABOUT IT…WHAT KING OF REPRESENTATIONS DO ST LUCIANS GET FROM THE PEOPLE WE PUT IN PLACE WORKING FOR US/it feels like they working against us

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  6. Amazing to see that the only way to get anything done in this country is by Threats.
    smh.

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  7. It was about .. time they too action, these government are only after money they do not care eho suffers its when tyeir families and other people gets infected that theytake action.these africans should not be travelling , period.they should get tested before they live their country. I have families in st.lucia and I will sue their very ass till they broke.they bettet take heed.deban sallop

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  8. No entry at all should be allowed from West African countries.

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  9. I am in solidarity with the Custom agents, And their concerns about the "Ebola virus " 
    But what exactly are they asking the Government to do, that they are not already empowered to do? 
    Are they not a law enforcement agency in regards to what & who enters our ports ?  I mean they confiscate dildos and other things ( which has no health risk to the island nation ) why can they detain someone who's traveling from an infected nation .. Oh ok! The health care institutions are not ready ? Hmm 
    I   would assume all health care facility would be equipped with procedures & policy regarding  and relating  to any or all epidemic ! We know we are a nation if re-activism being pro- active is a lame action lol !  only when the shit hits the fan we scramble like roaches caught in the light ! 
    You think after " Mac cow , SARS etc  they would have routine checks and drills etc . I mean we have known of the possibilities of epidemics  not today,We are not immune  for Pete sakes  so what really are we voting dem people do I  ask ? Wasting time on gag order of civil servants , shutting blogs ... Making baseless accusations,  self aggrandizing tunnel vision MoFo that goes for both parties cause they both at one point , played a serious part in what St Lucia has become !y'all educated persons out their in hacks vile. Knows what is wrong today is a direct result of bad polices ! Mal management  etc from as far as the mid 70's 
    I  dare any one to say I'm wrong ! 
    I do believe the SVG approach is the best !! Just saying !

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  10. I just Love how Vincentians government their affairs.
    Unfortunately, we have the TRASHIEST OF THE TRASH AND THE BOTTOM BARREL TO GOVERN OUR AFFAIRS.
    NO PATRIOTISM, NO VISION, USELESS, WORTHLESS, AMASSING WEALTH IN OFFICE, DETACHED FROM THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE, GOT NO CLUE WHAT THE HELL THEY’RE DOING.
    WE ALL DOOMED WITH THIS GOVERNMENT.
    JUST USELESS!!!!

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  11. so tell me again what exactly.is the medical team suppose to do in regards to.the Ebola threat.... Smh the way i see it.this is just putting more lives at risk. smh

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  12. Sa salop lun.

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  13. Those who doh ask doh get?
    So if the fellas eh mek noise - Health would neva set up?

    SMH

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  14. This is how one of the neighbouring islands propose to deal with the situation:

    The Ministry of Health announced on Monday that in order to prevent the entry of the Ebola viral disease into St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) persons travelling to SVG from Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia or those who have visited any of the aforementioned countries during a 28-day period will not be allowed entry into SVG.

    Persons travelling to SVG from Nigeria or any other West African country or those who visited any of the aforementioned countries during a 28-day period must present upon entry at any port of entry to SVG a negative blood test result for Ebola (done not more than 7 days prior to leaving their home country to come to SVG) in order to be allowed entry into SVG, the ministry further said.

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    • Dnt let thoes people to enter in our island Edola or not,serious matter going in the world.Thoes people know that they are sick an yet they still coming in..PUT A STOP

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