Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, has disclosed that a temporary isolation unit will be put into operation at the Douglas-Charles Airport, while plans are being pursued for the establishment of a more permanent unit.
“We do have a holding isolation unit at the Douglas-Charles Airport for temporary location,” Dr. Darroux said. “(I) visited the Douglas-Charles Airport; visited the development of the isolation unit being put in place at the Douglas-Charles Airport,” Dr. Darroux told the media last week.
“This small isolation unit being set up there will just be a temporary location for any potential Ebola, or any other contagious disease victims and whatever the outbreak might be at any given time, to get them away from the main stream airport and get them into an area for further transfer to any other isolation unit we are thinking of,” he said.
He said a few proposals have already been put forward for Cabinet’s consideration with regard to a more permanent facility.
“Couple of the proposals are being considered, one of them of course, would be the conversion of one of the primary schools around town into this unit. That”s one of the proposals,” he explained.
He said Cabinet is awaiting further advice from PAHO regarding the option of building an isolation unit “away from the city, close enough to the hospital for easy access but away from the main stream population.”
The minister also views with optimism, the decline in the number of Ebola casualties in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“We are seeing (in) the figures less and less casualties of Ebola outside the three main African countries where Ebola is a problem, so this is good news,” he stated.
“From a health point of view this is working out to be an advantage to us that there are no direct international flights into Dominica, so most of the visitors to Dominica would have made one or two stops at other international airports, where they would have a more elaborate screening and interviews. So the chances of someone coming into Dominica with Ebola are slim…we will be taking measures in case that happens,”the minister pointed out.