There will be no restrictions of trade and travel from Ebola-affected countries, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Merlene Fredericks.
This comment comes in light of concerns raised locally about the possible outbreak here in St. Lucia as a tourism destination.
According to Dr. Fredericks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) concluded that the outbreak is of international concern and is a public health threat, but noted there is no restriction on trade or travel.
“As usual we advise persons going to the infection area to take necessary precautions, so that they do not come into direct contact with anyone who is ill or to come in contact with any animal who may be infected. But certainly we will not be restricting anyone from coming in or leaving,” the CMO added.
Dr. Fredericks told St Lucia News Online (SNO) in a recent interview, “What we are going to do and we have been doing in realising the possible threat and putting all of our systems on alert, our health facilities, we have mobilised our regional outbreak investigation team so that persons are aware and ready.”
She added: “If any person comes in with recent travel history to west Africa, and when we say recent, in the last month, and has symptoms of fever, vomiting, body aches or any of the signs, if such a case should occur, then we would take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are proper quarantines and infection control practices etcetera to deal with the issue.”
Recently, 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 proved to be a false alarm.