Opposition demands details on Ebola plan
Damion Mitchell, Editor - Radio & Online
The Opposition is demanding more details from the Government on its plan to respond to the Ebola threat.
The Opposition spokesman on health, Dr Ken Baugh, says he is encouraged by the announcement of the Health Ministry that there are preparations in place.
But he says that is not enough as Jamaicans should be told the actual plan.
Baugh says he will be contacting the ministry to request more information on the Ebola plan.
Yesterday, Jamaica's main trading partner and tourist market, the United States, confirmed its first case of Ebola in the State of Texas.
US authorities say the infected man recently returned to America from a visit of his family in a West African country.
Last night, the acting permanent secretary of the health ministry, Dr. Kevin Harvey, said with the developments in America, Jamaica is now on high alert and local surveillance teams remain vigilant while continuing to screen travelers.
He also said the health ministry is working closely with other ministries and Government agencies to ensure the safety of Jamaicans.
In the meantime, he is hoping that US authorities will quickly contain any potential spread of Ebola and, according to Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Atlanta-based Centres for Disease Control, America will do just that.
Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population when bodily fluids like the sweat, blood or semen of an infected person comes in contact with an uninfected person.
The latest data from the World Health Organisation indicates that a total of 6,574 Ebola cases have been reported.
Of this number, 3,091 people have died in West Africa.
The Health Ministry has been harshly criticised for its failure to properly manage the Chikungunya crisis including the communication policy.
WATCH: ON THE RECORD - Dealing with chikungunya