The Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) says the region continues to adequately safeguard the well-being of vector-control workers as they work to destroy mosquito breeding sites, in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In an interview with JIS News, Regional Vector Control Officer at the WRHA, Ryan Morris, informed that each worker is supplied with vital protective equipment to protect themselves and the public from contracting the disease.
“The vector-control efforts in the western region remain intensified. The teams are supported by management, as they are equipped in terms of infection-control measures, masks and hand sanitisers,” Mr. Morris explains.
He pointed out that vector-control workers are required to sanitise their hands between premises and must wear a mask.
“So, all of these protocols are being observed because we cannot afford to have our team going down due to illness at this point in the year when we are experiencing an increase in mosquitoes,” Mr. Morris said.
Mr. Morris shared that, to date, no vector-control worker has contracted COVID-19.
In the meantime, he noted that in light of the nightly curfews, special arrangements are made at the parish level to ensure that members of fogging teams are transported home safely at nights.
“The region is going above and beyond, because even the curfew that has been imposed presently is somewhat affecting activities, but the region, through local management, has communicated with local transportation, so when the teams go out to do fogging, and come back after curfew hours, they would have an essential service transportation available to take them to their homes,” Mr. Morris said.
“We know that transportation would be off the road by such time, but the control must go on because you cannot have COVID-19 and dengue in the same breath,” he added.
Mr. Morris is reminding householders to continue to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites in and around the home, in order to minimise the threat of dengue and other vector-borne diseases.
The Western Regional Health Authority provides healthcare services to residents in St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny.