An emergency meeting was called today between law enforcement and health officials, to discuss the national plan for Ebola with the aim of strengthening St. Lucia’s response to a possible threat.
Police Commissioner Vernon Francois said he is pleased that the meeting was called, as more needs to be done to strengthen areas that are weak and to educate officials on the plans being taken.
Francois said the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) and its branches are ready to have its members trained to respond to a possible threat of Ebola and making persons comfortable doing it.
The police commissioner said he is satisfied with the work already being done with immigration.
“I can say I am satisfied that a lot of work has been done with the Immigration Department, as it relates to their role and the issue of advanced passenger information on how to deal with these cases,” he said.
However, Francois admitted that more needs to be done to prepare the Marine Unit.
“It is important that the officers are comfortable and are aware of their role and they know what they are supposed to do,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health Dr. Marlene Frederick said the ministry is ready to assist all branches of law enforcement to prepare for any possible case of Ebola entering these shores.
Dr. Frederick also stated that the ministry has been working closely with the Immigration Department.
The CMO also believes that there is still work to be done with the Marine Unit and other branches of law enforcement.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Cointha Thomas said the meeting was a unique and rear occasion where law enforcement and health discussed the national Ebola plan.
Thomas said the meeting sought to get St. Lucia’s law enforcement agencies on board as they seek to develop and strengthen the island national response towards a possible threat of Ebola.
The meeting saw representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs, NEMO, Bordelais Correctional Facility, the St. Lucia Fire Service, SLASPA and executive level officers of the RSLPF.
On October 15, St. Lucia implemented travel restrictions for Ebola-affected countries. All visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be denied entry into Saint Lucia until further notice.