The World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization have commended the collaborative effort by the Ministry of Health in keeping the surveillance and prevention of the Influenza A H1N1 in check. Keeping the country healthy has meant the postponement of several major events such as the Agricultural Trade Show and the Morgan Heritage Concert. But Director of Health Services, Dr. Michael Pitts says they will go ahead with the opening of the casinos in the Commercial Free Zone on May 11th.

Dr. Michael Pitts, Dir. Of Health Services

“Initially we started with major mass gatherings and over the last 46 hours we tried to define mass gatherings with smaller groups, now we are saying because of how the disease is progressed we may allow people to congregate. Let’s be sensible if you are ill, don’t go into an area where you see a lot of people and protect the next citizen beside you.

“We still have some hot spots we want to see some action. We’ll be watching the Free Zone carefully and in particularly, the casinos and the zone activity, but we believe that we can allow certain things to happen in the Free Zone. In a small measure, we’re saying that the Free Zone can return to work seven to seven per day, but we’ll have Public Health Inspectors going around and doing surveillance. In terms of the casino, we have a discussion to see how best allow them to come online. We come in small waves there. So, that there’s an Understanding with the casino workers, instead of the owners, instead of opening all machines for example they can adjust and say well let’s just have a shorter window to open, let’s have only a certain percentage of the machines operational, control a little bit about the crowd going in and I think with that we would be satisfied that we can still maintain the protection for the population at large. The border areas where people are moving is fluid and you know, we are asking that people try to be as honest as they can with what is happening here. It is obvious the majority of the population has been working with it us and served us well serve us well, for those who are trying to bypass that system, we just try to step in line in what we’re doing its protecting everybody.”


Channel 5 News