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Financial Complex closed for comprehensive cleaning

Financial Complex closed for comprehensive cleaning

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Activity at the Financial Complex in Kingstown is expected to return to some state of normalcy by next week.{{more}}

The building, which suffered damage to the finance floor following a fire last Saturday October 15, and saw the census office and projects department completely destroyed, was closed yesterday, Thursday and will again be closed today, Friday, to allow a comprehensive cleaning of the building to take place.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Douglas Slater informed the media that the decision to have the comprehensive cleaning was taken by Cabinet, following an assessment of the building by health officials, because of safety concerns.

“They brought in a team yesterday Tuesday to do that assessment; they since gave us a report and the contents of that report were conveyed to Cabinet and certain decisions were made.”

“The decision was made to close certain sections of the building. From the report given by the technical personnel, the only floor that they felt relatively comfortable with, is the ground floor which houses the Treasury,” he said.

Slater, a medical doctor who specialized in Public Health, said that the reason for the closure was because of the detection of fumes which may have some level of toxicity.

He said that the closure will give the staff of the public health department and other cleaners the opportunity to give the affected areas in the building a fairly thorough cleaning, in order to minimize the remnants of any toxic products that may have stayed in the building.

“In the meantime, we have also been advised that we should as best as possible ventilate the building. So we would be doing that by allowing the natural fresh air to get rid of any lingering fumes and all of that will be done in an effort to minimize the risk of any health injuries to anyone.”

“This is because the government is interested in the health and safety of its workers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Slater indicated that the second floor, which received the most damage from fire and water and which housed the Ministry of Finance, will be sealed off by the Buildings, Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) in order to prevent the recontamination of the rest of the building.

He said that the persons who worked on that floor are to be relocated to office spaces yet to be identified, until that section of the building is repaired.

There are approximately 500 persons who work in the financial complex building, which also houses the Prime Minister’s Office, the Regional Integrated Diaspora Unit, Invest SVG, the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs and other departments.

Up to press time, the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

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