Teachers stand firm on centre relocation

Despite welcoming the news that the controversial isolation unit at the Enmore Centre will not be used to treat patients with infectious, airborne illnesses, parents and teachers of the Ursuline Convent School are sticking to their guns that the facility should be moved.

 The school’s administrator Susan Chennery told Barbados TODAY this afternoon they would push on with their efforts to have it moved away from the school.

 She said while she was happy with the decision announced yesterday that the centre would only be used to treat Ebola patients, it did not appease all the fears of those responsible for the 600 students at the educational institution.

 Chennery insisted that the unit on Collymore Rock, St Michael must not be a permanent fixture in their community.

 “We still have concerns because we have been told it was temporary, but we have [no] time frame for when it will be moved. However, we continue to negotiate with the Ministry of Health and will continue to meet with them and see how much further we can get in getting a solution that would satisfy everyone,” she said.

 Chennery said additional petitions have been launched but the school has not yet received a response from the Ministry to a petition carrying 3,140 signatures, which was submitted last month.

 “We will have a follow-up. There is an online petition – a separate petition by a parent –that has in excess of 700 signatures and we have also received more for the school’s petition with [more than] 300 signatures,” she said.

 Yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Tennyson Springer said the Ministry sought to address all the concerns raised by the public and would continue to review its options for the long-term.

He said that would include “a re-look at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and where an isolation unit could be placed within a reorganized hospital facility”.

 Chennery said she hoped that the authorities had all the safeguards in place to keep the deadly Ebola virus from Barbados’ shores.

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