Staying put

Ebola centre to remain at Enmore, despite strong public protest

Despite concerns expressed by nearby residents and the outrage by parents of students attending the nearby St Ursuline School, Government is moving full steam ahead with its plans for the establishment of an isolation unit at Enmore to treat Ebola and other infectious diseases.

The announcement by Minister of Health John Boyce, who said in a statement last evening said that the unit was close to completion, and would be opened by Saturday, November 1.

The proposed location of the unit, next to the Ursuline Convent School, has been a source of public consternation, especially among parents and guardians of students attending the private school, who have raised concern that the children are being placed at serious risk.

In a statement last weekend, The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners had also expressed concern about the siting of the centre close to the school on Collymore Rock. President Dr Carlos Chase had also suggested the former St Joseph Hospital in St Peter, or a hospital ship as the other alternatives.

Also weighing in on the recent debate was the leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley who had said that the former temporary prison at Harrison Point in St Lucy, would offer a safer and much more secluded location.

However, while the parents have been busy gathering signatures for a petition to be presented to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in their quest to halt the current plan, Boyce said Government had been focused on getting the entire country prepared for any possible outbreak of deadly Ebola.

Minister of Health John Boyce
Minister of Health John Boyce

“The availability of a facility where an Ebola patient can receive care is one of the critical aspects of our preparedness plan. An isolation centre is a place where people who are ill with an infectious disease are separated from patients who are not ill.

“As such, a decision was taken to establish such a facility at Enmore, near to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The facility has been designed in strict compliance with international standards for infection control, waste management and air quality.

“The centre is nearing completion and is on stream to be ready and outfitted by November 1, 2014,” he said.

The Minister also assured, based on current information that the disease was only transmitted by close contact with a patient or their bodily fluids, and that the proposed centre did not pose any risk to persons in the vicinity.

The deadly disease, which has been reported in at least five countries, including the United States, has already claimed over 4,500 lives worldwide.

Boyce said the authorities were taking the necessary precautions to ensure that the island remains Ebola free.

In fact, he said Barbados’ Ebola preparedness was being closely monitored by the National Security Council, which is chaired by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

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7 Responses to Staying put

  1. Yvonne Griffith
    Yvonne Griffith October 25, 2014 at 3:52 am

    This is one way to keep the Bajan population under control. There is a creeping dictatorship approaching certain states in the Caribbean but then again, it is said that people get the type of leadership they deserve. Little tin God’s and mimick men. Who in their right senses would erect an Ebola center in the middle of a community? Steups!!

  2. Yvonne Griffith
    Yvonne Griffith October 25, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Barbados is 166 sq. mile? Tobago is much smaller than Barbados..granted your population may be larger. In other words, you are implying that Barbadians are “town men”, there’s no rural life in Barbados. What do you exist off – tourism and flying fish? You have no reserved land space – not even to erect a building? There must be some “backaday” place in Barbados to put that. My father must be squirming in his grave!

  3. John Herbert
    John Herbert October 25, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Yesterday, I note with interest two different medical professionals speaking about Ebola, was very emphatic about the fact that Ebola was extremely difficult to catch.

    In order to catch Ebola, you have to be in DIRECT contact with a SICK person, and in DIRECT contact with their blood, stool and other bodily fluids.

    You are more likely to die from the flu or even a motor vehicle accident before you die from Ebola. In fact, it is predicted that this year in the USA alone, 49,000 people will die from the flu and another 35,000 or so will die from motor vehicle accidents.

  4. randy forde October 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Minister of health John Boyce the people vote u in that position i hope, Why not listen to the people and put they fears first!! St Joseph Hospital St Peter was suggested and Mia Monttley also weigh in on the site of the tempory prison at harrison point st lucy, bajans don’t like this Ebola centrs near they school or home or for that matter work place, keep that centre open untill u ereck another one of the sites mention then close the one near the Ursuline School , I am retire Bajan living in Canada speaking for my people!!! Ebola is a death sentence in a third word country.

  5. Wayne Dread October 25, 2014 at 11:34 am

    What strong public protest? All the hoopla has been created by the press.with their interest on the privileged. We will not be held hostage .the decision was made after taking all factors into consideration. The leader of the opposition is trying to use this as a political

  6. Joseph Harding October 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Mr Duncan from Dallas died from Ebola. His partner & her kids who lived in the apartment together with him are well. Tested negative during and after the quarantine period.
    Us bajans are making noise about the location of a quarantine center. I see no problem.

  7. Tony Waterman October 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    @Joseph Harding!!!! “”His partner & her kids who lived in the apartment together with him are well.”” He was NOT Living there for any length of time he went to the Hospital a couple days after Arriving in Dallas and LIEING on his Medical form, and was sent back home , he returned to the same Hospital a couple more days later and was admitted. If he had had SEX with her she would have contracted Ebola everyone was glad that he did not feel well enough for that.
    @Wayne Dread!!! “”the decision was made after taking all factors into consideration. The leader of the opposition is trying to use this as a political”” this is NOT the time to be PAROCHIAL, this center is in the WRONG PLACE, in practically the Middle of the Island, the ST.Joseph site in St.Peter or the BDF Site in St.Lucy are TWO near perfewct sites for consideration.
    Unfortunately by following this story, one could see that this site was Fait accompli, not the way to treat your citizens with this we know all attitude.
    The problem with this site is that Infectious Diseases that can be contracted AIRBORNE will also be treated at this location, which makes this a BAD choice for this Unit,


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