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Mixed reactions to ZIKV in Portland

Published:Monday | June 13, 2016 | 6:00 AMGareth Davis
Produce on display in the Musgrave Market, Port Antonio in Portland.

PORT ANTONIO, Portland:

The recent clean-up exercise to rid several communities in Portland of garbage, discarded wares, and water-holding containers by varied state agencies in the fight against the Zika virus has been met by residents with mixed reactions.

"I am not even aware of any clean-up exercise taking place," commented Barbara Williams.

"However, since it has reportedly started, I view it as an awesome idea, as in recent time, mosquitoes have become known to be carriers and depositors of the most dreaded diseases. I still believe that the Ministry of Health, the parish council, the Jamaica Information Service and National Solid Waste Management Authority could take it a step further by educating students about the importance of keeping our domestic surroundings clean and free of mosquito-breeding sites," she added.

Another resident, Brian McNaughton, complained bitterly that the Ministry of Health is yet to conduct fogging in the community of Shot-Over, near Stony Hill, where there is an alleged increase in the mosquito population, which has infested just about every home.

 

MORE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE

 

"Since the threat of the Zika virus was looming, more should have been done," said McNaughton. "But, instead, everybody is running around like chickens without heads. The previous administration handled the chik-V situation poorly, and this present administration, God knows what they inherited, are now playing catch-up. It is rather challenging for people in the rural area to dispose of water-holding containers, which are used by them to store water for their domestic use. This is everybody's concern, and unless persons are charged or held accountable, we might very well have a major outbreak."

Vera Pink, a market vendor, is of the view that places like the Musgrave Market in Port Antonio, which is surrounded by drains, are in dire need of fogging, as mosquitoes continue to emerge from drains running along West Street and the cenotaph, especially at nights.

"It is quite clear that those drains in close proximity to the market are a breeding ground for mosquitoes," said Pink.