That is the plea to Barbadians from Acting Minister of Health Donville Inniss as the United States reports its first case of the deadly Ebola virus and checks as many as 100 people for possible exposure.
Speaking during a tour of Sils Dialysis Barbados at Belleville, St Michael this evening, he said even though red flags may now be raised because of the US case, his ministry was not in panic mode.
Instead, he said, it had taken a proactive approach to this latest development.
“There are protocols that have been in place for many years to deal with communicable diseases which the ministry continues to follow,” Inniss pointed out.
He said the ministry continues to be updated by the World Health Organization, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and other reputable international bodies.
“So I believe those protocols are being followed. Certainly what some may consider simple things – having the personal protective equipment available – the state will continue to ensure that whatever health care workers need to protect themselves to provide optimum care to anyone who may be affected [is] there,” Inniss said.
“So I would just say to the country on the whole, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, that we are proactive, we are continuing to be very vigilant . . . continuing to sensitize and train our frontline workers in health care as well as those at ports of entry and those who normally have to respond and assist the ministry in any such matters. But I don’t think Barbadians have anything to worry about.”
He reiterated that the ministry would continue to be “very” vigilant.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John, who returned to her substantive post yesterday after a stint with an international organization, told reporters that the proposed isolation centre for communicable diseases, including Ebola, should be ready by the end of the month.