We need all hands on deck in fight to keep Coronavirus from hitting SVG
Our Readers' Opinions
March 6, 2020

We need all hands on deck in fight to keep Coronavirus from hitting SVG

EDITOR: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) issued a statement a month ago, saying the Caribbean is a low risk area in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Really? Am I hearing right? Is the leading health authority in the Caribbean misleading Caribbean people? Is it that our people are immune to the disease, or we block off our borders from the rest of the world?

The most logical and sensible way to approach the handling of this pandemic, is to assume the virus is already here, so everybody needs to play their roll in containing and eventual eradication of this virus. All institutions, businesses and individuals first have to understand that some effort on their part could avoid a total shut down of this country’s daily activities. This is not instilling fear in people, it’s taking proactive action.

An infected individual can disembark a plane at Argyle, get on a bus, head into Kingstown, go to a bank, draw off some money to go to a restaurant, then a supermarket, before heading home, and mingle with family members.

In that one day over 20 persons could contract the virus from that one person.

We need to start now, not next week, or the other week, to perform drills, and I am not talking about health and security workers taking care of patients when they are ill, although that is important too, and I know that process has started already. I am suggesting that the Health Department go around to schools and other institutions to oversee the established protocol for combating this disease is being followed. Up to this time, students are not informed and drilled on hygiene, like avoid touching each other, and washing their hands continuously. We go about our daily lives, shaking each other’s hands and at times hugging each other, oblivious to the possible dangers. Cleaners in these institutions and public buildings need to understand that they have the most important task in curbing this potential disaster. I was at a restaurant in Kingstown for two and a half hours, and at no time did I see the cleaner wipe off the handle for the washroom door.

Even the tables were not cleaned when a customer was done with it. As the customers finished eating, they took up the trash and put it in the trash can, and the new customer calmly sat at the table without the cleaner sanitizing it.

Businesses, you need to instill on your cleaners that this is a life and death situation and they cannot sleep on the job.

Every minute of the day, door handles, toilet flush handles, tables, shopping carts and baskets handles, and everything that people touch, need to be sanitize continuously. We should not wait and watch to see if the virus will hit here. It will. It’s only when.

Michael Gibson