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Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health,Dr. Marion Bullock Ducasse, is reporting a reduction in new cases of dengue.

“We have looked at our cases and up to the week ending October 27, we are reporting 2,448 clinically suspected dengue cases of which 404 were laboratory confirmed. We are watching these figures very closely, because for that week… we only had reports of 250 new clinically suspected cases. The week prior to that, it was at 488,” she informed at the Jamaica House press briefing.

Dr. Bullock Ducasse assured that the Ministry is continuing its intensified activities in all communities island-wide, and in partnership with other ministries and agencies, to ensure that the outbreak is swiftly controlled.      

“We are on a major effort to control the dengue outbreak. We are currently pursuing intensive activities in the main areas of public education, vector control, clinical case management, and of course, we are ensuring social mobilization so that the communities can be fully involved to assist us in reducing breeding sites. Also, we are having our teams out, dealing with reducing the larvae of the mosquitoes, and fogging and spraying continues island-wide,” she outlined.

Giving an update on health services since the passage of Hurricane Sandy, Dr. Bullock Ducasse informed that 24 of the island’s 25 hospitals are now offering full services.

She said the Annotto Bay hospital in St. Mary, the worst affected, continues to offer emergency and in-patient services only. “Therefore, we are not offering elective surgery but for those persons, who were previously scheduled, arrangements have been made to reschedule some of them – the more serious cases – at other hospitals in particular the St. Ann’s Bay hospital,” she informed.

Dr. Bullock Ducasse noted that the assessments continue in terms of the damage and the needs, with estimates so far at approximately $160 million. The repair of the Annotto Bay hospital, which suffered major roof damage, takes up the lion’s share of the bill at $52 million.