By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader David Granger believes the government has not been truthful in warning the Guyanese people of the threat of the mosquito borne disease – Chikungunya.
He rejected the assertion that a crisis in relation to the spread of the disease in Guyana is looming.
“It’s here, we are in a crisis,” he told reporters on Friday.
Granger said, “The government knows very well what’s happening, why you think it’s fogging, it’s fogging late.”
He recalled that advisories from the health ministry had said that the disease was contained to east Canje, “then it leaped over region five to Georgetown.”
The Opposition Leader said what is happening now is what happened earlier in the year with the spread of gastroenteritis. He recalled that the number of cases coming out of Barima Waini, Region One continued to soar until April when it reached 530.
He said after this, there was a news blackout. “Nobody knows how many cases there after Gina stop publishing, so people depending on Gina releases got nothing. Even when deaths they declared was five, we found out it was about ten children that had died.”
He bemoaned the fact that Guyana has a lab to do the necessary testing but no lab technicians forcing the country to send selected samples to Trinidad for testing.
“Only when the Health Minister was put on the spot then he admitted that the results from lab in Trinidad started to show increasing threat.”
Granger said the administration must also pay attention to other mosquito borne diseases, particularly in interior regions, such as dengue, malaria and filaria.
The diseases were confirmed in the Caribbean several months ago and so far some Caribbean countries have recorded hundreds of cases with dozens of deaths.
In Guyana, the Chikungunya virus has spread from region six where it was first detected to other parts of the country with seven of the 12 newly confirmed cases emanating from Regions 3, 4, 5 and the City.
The Government Information Agency (GINA) revealed that there were three cases from West Berbice, namely Bath Settlement, Bush Lot, and Number 9 Village, one each from Mahaicony and Ithaca, one from North Ruimveldt and one from Crane, West Coast Demerara, Region Three.
On July 1 upon receiving the results of samples that were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago, it was confirmed that the disease has spread. The 12 more cases of the mosquito- borne disease have brought the total number of cases to 31 thus far.
According to GINA, at the moment, it is unknown whether these individuals contracted the disease in Berbice where it first originated, however, Dr. Morris Edwards, epidemiologist is analysing the data.
Prior to these, there were 19 confirmed cases, all originating from the Canje, Berbice area, in Region Six. In late May Guyana recorded it first cases, a toddler and a woman in her forties, both from the Canje area.