By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – In wake of the growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa and which has spread to other parts of the world with a suspected case being treated in neighbouring Brazil, Opposition Leader David Granger says Guyanese must bring pressure to bear on the government.
He said it is evident that measures need to be put in place to deal with the deadly virus should it make its way to Guyana.
“When you look at what is happening in West Africa, we need to start preparing now… given the experience with Chikungunya I think Guyana should fear the worst,” Granger said.
He said information coming out from the Ministry of Health on Chikungunya and measures to fight it have been very inconsistent and fears the same could happen when it comes to Ebola.
“Over the last three years I am dissatisfied with the public information posture of the Ministry of Health in terms of gastroenteritis, malaria and dengue,” he said; adding that “the Ministry has proven to be very unreliable in providing public warning and information.”
He said measures must be implemented to ensure that persons who are likely to be contaminated are screened and quarantined when entering the country.
“So far I have received no information of quarantine centers being set up and you know Guyanese are notorious for back tracking since there are many ports not under the control of the state… it’s a major task and soon as the
Ministry of Health latch onto the responsibility it will be better for all of us.”
Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran says that Guyana does not have the ability to test or treat patients for the disease.
Dr Ramsaran is reported to have said in one section of the media that surveillance has been increased at all ports, with doctors being deployed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
According to the article published by the Guyana Times, the Health Minister said that these doctors are on the lookout for passengers, Guyanese and non-Guyanese, coming into the country with any sign of the Ebola virus.
He said while Guyana does not have the capacity to carry out the test for this disease, medical officials have been adequately trained in identifying the signs of the disease.
The number of people killed in the Ebola outbreak has risen above 4,000, the World Health Organization has said.
The latest figures show there have been 8,376 cases and 4,024 deaths in the worst-affected West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The news comes as Liberian Parliamentarians refused to grant the president additional powers to deal with the Ebola crisis.