Oct 11, 2014 News
By Abena Rockcliffe
In light of the fact that Guyana’s neighbouring country, Brazil, is dealing with a suspected case of the deadly Ebola virus, Opposition Leader, David Granger is warning Guyana to fear the worst.
The politician premised his statement on the fact that Guyana cannot seem to keep a disease like Chikungunya which is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito under control, moreover, Ebola, a disease which can be transmitted by mere sweat.
“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.
The Opposition Leader said that it is evident that measures need to be put in place to first prevent anyone with the deadly disease from entering Guyana and then to deal with the virus should it make its way here.
In this regard, Granger told media operatives that Guyanese need to put pressure on the government to do what is necessary.
He said information coming out from the Ministry of Health on Chikungunya and measures to fight it have been very inconsistent and he 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.”
Addressing the possibility of someone from Brazil bringing it to Guyana, Granger said there is an utmost need for increased levels of surveillance at the borders.
He said measures must be implemented to ensure that persons who are likely to be contaminated are screened and quarantined when entering the country.
Granger said that, “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 as soon as the Ministry of Health latches onto the responsibility it will be better for all of us.”
Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran was reported in sections of the media saying that Guyana is not equipped to deal with Ebola patients or test for the disease.
Brazil is treating a 47-year-old man who has become the country’s first suspected case of the deadly Ebola virus.
The man, originally from Guinea in West Africa, has been placed in isolation at a hospital in the city of Cascavel, where Brazil’s Ministry of Health has sent specialists to provide additional help and care.
He arrived in Brazil on 19 September and is believed to have travelled from Guinea.
On Thursday afternoon the man went to the emergency department at the hospital with a fever. His case is being treated by medics as suspicious as his symptoms have developed within the maximum incubation period for Ebola, which is 21 days.
The country has joined Argentina and the US in tightening its port entry procedures for ships that have sailed from West Africa, in an attempt to contain the deadly virus, Reuters news agency reported.
Brazil’s health surveillance agency, Anvisa, said that any ships known to have docked in Ebola-affected countries within the last 21 days will need to provide thorough medical records and logs of medicines used before receiving clearance to dock at Brazilian ports.
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