The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has advised against imposing restrictions on people arriving from any country as it closely monitors the spread of the Monkeypox virus.
At the weekend, Barbados confirmed its first case of the virus which has been reported in 63 countries.
Minister of Health and Wellness Ian Gooding-Edghill said a Barbadian man in his 30s who recently flew into the island tested positive for the virus after he presented to the Sir Winston Scott Polyclinic.
Two other Caribbean countries, The Bahamas and Jamaica, have also confirmed cases of the virus.
“CARPHA is monitoring the spread of the monkeypox virus – looking at prevention and control. We have also commenced testing for the Monkeypox virus. At this time, CARPHA does not recommend restrictions on entry of persons from any country,” Executive Director of the Trinidad-based regional health agency Dr Joy St John said on Monday.
“Working alongside our member states, we will support activities and educate the public to protect the health of all within their borders.”
Dr St John urged member states to continue to remain on high alert for the importation of viral or other infections and monitor in-country syndromic surveillance systems for increases in fever and rash illnesses.
“We know that diseases do not recognise borders, and international travel makes us aware that no borders are secure from the threat of diseases, especially infectious ones. At this time, member states are in various stages of easing of restrictions for COVID-19 which severely impacted the region,” the CARPHA boss said.
Dr St John assured that the agency will continue to coordinate public health policy and work closely with member states and other public health partners to respond to public health issues.
“As part of our regional public health management, we provide assistance to member states through the development of tools for investigation and epidemiological monitoring, and personnel are prepared to respond in country to assist in the investigation and control of outbreak, should the need arise,” she said. (BT/PR)