Minister of Health John Boyce is staying clear of saying whether his Ministry is prepared to consider relocating the isolation centre at Enmore amid strong public protests.
Teachers and angry parents of students at the nearby Ursuline Convent have been lobbying for the Government to abandon the construction of the unit, which will house patients with infectious diseases, including the Ebola virus.
Last week, the Parent-Teacher Association launched a petition to gather signatures to pressure authorities to remove the isolation centre from next to the school’s compound.
But Boyce told reporters this morning he had not got any petition.
“I have not received any petition yet. We are full in contact with the school and other interested parties and we take phone calls almost every day. I have not received any petition as minister,” he said.
Pressed on whether his ministry would contemplate the demands made by the school, Boyce would only say that Barbados must not delay preparations to respond to Ebola if the need arises.
“I think the important thing is that Barbados has to be prepared in the event that we have to deal with a case of Ebola. I do not have a timetable for that. I have a timetable for having Barbados in a position that we can deal with the situation should it ever arise,” the minister said.
In a Ministerial Statement issued last Thursday, Boyce said the facility was being designed in strict compliance with international standards for infection control, waste management and air quality.
The centre is scheduled to be completed by November 1.
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