Former Minister of Health Dr. Fuad Khan has accused the Minister of health of creating havoc after his issuance of a Public National Health Emergency with regards to the Zika virus.
The Barataria/San Juan MP claimed that he was inundated with calls from highly concerned individuals both locally and abroad who have shared their confusion and fears regarding the threat of this pandemic.
He claimed that since there have been no confirmed cases of the virus on either island, the premature pronouncement would only cause fear and hysteria, especially during this Carnival season.
Khan said that while the menace and manifestation of the disease does in fact warrant a state of increased vigilance to prevent it from spreading to our country, to date, the government has stood-fast to their decision to contain and minimize the transmission of the virus after it enters our shores, rather than place any effort into protecting our citizens from its invasion of our country.
He said that the suspension of Carnival 2016 should be considered for the protection of our citizens.
The former Health Minister also said that this was reinforced by the recent discovery that the virus may also be transferred in the form of a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), thereby expanding the transmission system of the virus from an exclusively vector-based one, to a person-to-person delivery method.
This means the process to eliminate the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that is being carried out throughout the country may eventually prove to be ineffective, if mosquitoes are not the only means by which this virus can travel.
He also accused the PNM Government of taking an extremely lethargic position in protecting the nation from exposure to a virus that has prompted other governments to issue warnings to their citizens to prevent them from reproducing for up to two years, as a countermeasure to its symptoms.
He said that , by monitoring travel itinerary of persons who are attempting to enter our borders we can identify persons who pose the highest risk based on their contact with countries already affected by the virus, and can therefore examine them more intensively, before allowing them access to our unsuspecting population.