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Story Highlights

  • Senator Sandrea Falconer, Minister with Responsibility for Information in the Office of the Prime Minister says the Government is treating the threat of the ZIKA Virus with a sense of national urgency.
  • In the meantime, Hon. Horace Dalley, Minister of Health who led a team of officials from the Ministry of Health at the Briefing, outlined several actions that have been taken by the Health Ministry as part of its ZIKV preparedness plan.
  • The Health Minister added that the country has been in preparation mode since the outbreak of the virus in Brazil last year and in the coming weeks will meet with several other partners and stakeholders including the umbrella group of churches, the PSOJ and private medical practitioners to enlist their support.

Senator Sandrea Falconer, Minister with Responsibility for Information in the Office of the Prime Minister says the Government is treating the threat of the ZIKA Virus with a sense of national urgency. “As we all know, the ZIKA Virus (ZIKV) is already identified in countries in the Americas, including the Caribbean countries of Barbados, Guyana, and even closer to home in Haiti. As you can well imagine, it is therefore only a matter of time before it reaches Jamaica’s shores,” she said. The Information Minister was speaking at this morning’s (Wednesday, January 20, 2016) media briefing at Jamaica House.

Senator Falconer urged all media to partner with the Government to inform and educate the public about the prevention of ZIKV. “This matter is so important that we are inviting the media to  join us in bringing the information to the people of Jamaica, because when the people are armed with information they can help to prevent getting ZIKV,” she said.

In the meantime, Hon. Horace Dalley, Minister of Health who led a team of officials from the Ministry of Health at the Briefing, outlined several actions that have been taken by the Health Ministry as part of its ZIKV preparedness plan. These include ramping up its vector control activities; increasing the frequency of fogging in several high risk communities in all parishes; deploying hundreds of workers to communities to assist with identifying and destroying mosquito breeding sites; ramping up public education and partnering with the Ministry of Education to spread the prevention messages.

The Health Minister added that the country has been in preparation mode since the outbreak of the virus in Brazil last year and in the coming weeks will meet with several other partners and stakeholders including the umbrella group of churches, the PSOJ and private medical practitioners to enlist their support.