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Education Ministry responds to Opposition claims on disease outbreak in schools

Published:Friday | October 2, 2015 | 10:19 PMStaff Reporter
Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites argued that schools did the right thing in alerting the health authorities of the cases of HFMD and noted that the subsequent response of both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education was appropriate.

The Education Ministry has come out stridently to defend its handling of the outbreak of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in various schools across the island.

In a joint press conference with the Ministry of Health, the Education Ministry has said it was proactive in dealing with the outbreak of HFMD.

Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites argued that schools did the right thing in alerting the health authorities of the cases of HFMD and noted that the subsequent response of both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education was appropriate.

The opposition spokespersons on health and education earlier this week accused the Government of dragging its feet in its response to the outbreak.

Opposition spokesperson on education, Kamina Johnson-Smith has said she believes that more schools should have been closed given the rapid spread of the outbreak.

Thwaites has, however, hit back and has said that international standards were followed in determining the school closures.

According to Thwaites, school closures is only necessary when the number of cases in a given school exceeds 10 per cent of the school population.