Chikungunya declared a National Disaster

Health Minister Dr. Clarice Modeste Curwen has called for a National response to fight the raging Chikungunya Virus that is taking a toll on productivity in the country.

Since its presence became known on the island two months ago, many persons from all walks of life including hundreds of workers in the Health sector, Business community, Tourism sector, Education, Legal Profession and Media have been affected by the virus.

During an appearance on GBN Radio last week Wednesday, Dr. Modeste declared the virus as a disaster for the country.

The Ministry of Health has announced a series of measures to suppress the mosquito that carries the vector of the Chikungunya virus.

The Health Minister has called for  public support to fight the mosquitoes that help to spread the virus through a national clean up effort.

The national clean up will be done on government buildings and other public buildings.

The clean-up will also be extended to derelict (abandoned) vehicles and abandoned buildings that are perceived to be providing breeding spaces for the mosquitoes.

One of the other measures being undertaken by the Ministry of Heath is to have the Vector Control Unit conduct additional fogging.

Dr. Modeste-Curwen disclosed that the fogging is a costly exercise and called on Grenadians to do their part by cleaning their surroundings.

In a televised address to kick-off the national clean-up campaign, the senior government minister gave figures for the cost of fogging.

Between January and September, the Ministry of Health spent in excess of $33,000 in overtime payment to workers for fogging, $34,000 for fuel, and $13,000 for the material to do the actual fogging.

According to Dr. Modeste-Curwen, the Vector Control Division has also sent out letters to people who have not been compliant in having their surrounding clean.

She said the Ministry is reluctant to go the extra mile and actually lay charges against negligent persons despite of the fact that the Chikungunya virus is proving to be of serious concern to the nation.

“This is a serious, serious issue for the nation,” she quipped.

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