SVG in possession of 3,000  antiviral tablets – Dr Gonsalves
October 4, 2013

SVG in possession of 3,000 antiviral tablets – Dr Gonsalves

This country is in possession of 3,000 antiviral tablets and should we need more, they can be quickly sourced from outside the country.{{more}}

This assurance was given by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves yesterday, as he addressed the nation in his capacity as Acting Minister of Health.

Gonsalves said there was no need to panic as systems have been put in place to deal with the presence of H1N1 in the country.

Speaking at a press conference at Cabinet Room, Gonsalves shared a report on the findings of the National Surveillance Committee, as presented to him by Permanent Secretary Luis deShong.

“I’ve been asked to assure everyone that matters are under control. We have the antiviral treatment in the country, 3,000 tablets, and we can source very quickly additional stock from PAHO and that stock is available for us to get very quickly.”

“There is a detailed outbreak report dated Thursday, the 19th of September, outlining the events and the control methods and actions taken, and the initial recommendations on the way forward.

“An initial 11 swabs… were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad on the 19th of September, the results were received on the 23 of September, confirming six cases of H1N1

“As part of our national obligation to report to PAHO (Pan American Health Organization), IHR (International Health Regulations), part of our own national obligation, the national IHR focal point here in St Vincent reported this event on the 24th of September 2013….”

Gonsalves said that according to reports, there were only two more suspected cases reported over the weekend, bringing the total to 51 as of yesterday.

Of that number, only six were confirmed, and more samples have been sent off and are awaiting results.

In a release issued Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizer Beache urged residents to continue hygienic practices, such as covering mouths with a tissue or handkerchief while sneezing or coughing.

“Hand washing is also essential in reducing the risk of transmission of the virus,” the release stated.

The release also said that the National Surveillance Committee set up in the ministry will continue to monitor the situation and make the necessary information available to the nation. A national public relations strategy, in order to raise public awareness, has also been developed to further fight the transmission of the virus.

Health Minister Clayton Burgin is out of the state on government business.