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AUDIO: Health Minister defends chikungunya response

Published:Friday | September 26, 2014 | 9:32 PM
Dr Fenton Ferguson - File

Karlene Brown, Assistant News Editor - Radio



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Despite mounting criticisms of the handling of the chikungunya virus outbreak in Jamaica, Portfolio Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson is maintaining that the Health Ministry has done nothing wrong.




Schools and businesses have reported wide scale absences due to chikungunya like symptoms, resulting in complaints that the government has been under reporting chikungunya cases.



However, Ferguson, who this week admitted that there does appears to be a discrepancy between suspected and reported cases of the virus, insists that the government’s response to chikungunya is in keeping with World Health Organization (WHO) standards.



According to the Health Minister, the government has been providing the public with information on the virus.



However, he says this ‘information got lost’ and made way for misinformation.



The latest data from the health ministry indicated that Jamaica now has 35 confirmed cases of chikungunya.



However, Ferguson now says the government is shifting the conversation from the numbers to building consensus around destroying mosquito breeding sites.



He however notes that based on international requirements, the government will continue to keep track of new cases of the virus.



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