Specific area should be set up to quarantine persons
THE GOVERNMENT of St Vincent and the Grenadines should have a designated area for quarantining persons who are suspected of having contagious infections.
Opposition leader Dr Godwin Friday, radio personality, Colin Graham, and several callers expressed this view yesterday, February 17, on the New Democratic Party’s New Times programme.
These expressed views came in the wake of a release from the Ministry of Health which said that 16 persons were quarantined in their homes after three Chinese nationals (two residents and one citizen of St Vincent and the Grenadines) returned to the country on February 12, having left China two days earlier.
These three persons and the 13 members of their household remain under quarantine.
“We also have to be well aware of the Government’s plans as to where they’re going to designate as quarantine areas and look at the surrounding areas in terms of accessibility of communities or villages in close proximity of these quarantined areas,” Graham said.
One caller commented that lack of information can cause panic in any situation adding that it was important for the public to know what was going on in cases like this one.
The caller also said that persons who are quarantined should also have trained persons on hand to ensure that they are not a danger to themselves and others.
“It’s time enough for any country to make somewhere available, because this world is such that there are all kinds of diseases, but, it’s time enough we have a special place built so that anything that come across that is dangerous to the country, we have somewhere ready to put them,” another caller said.
Opposition leader, Dr Godwin Friday, said that the World Health Organisation has established protocols on how to deal with the matter.
And he hopes that St Vincent and the Grenadines has been following those protocols.
“…But they need to let the public know that they are doing so, so that people are reassured,” he said.
Friday said that other countries in the region have dedicated specific places for quarantining persons.
He also said that it would be difficult to monitor several persons at a time if they were being quarantined in their private homes in different locations.
The opposition leader said that while no case of coronavirus has been confirmed in this country, “if you’re going to quarantine and the numbers grow, then at some point, it becomes unmanageable to have each person quarantined in their own home.
He said even if a facility is not built now the Government “can designate…you have to plan, you can’t just react, react all the time. You set the house on fire and praise yourself because you bring a water hose,” Friday commented.
A Vincentian returning from China on February 7 was the first person to be placed in quarantine for 14 days, which is the recommended procedure from the WHO, Pan American Health Organisation, the United States Centre for Disease Control and the Caribbean Public Health Agency.