(Trinidad Guardian): Fifty blood samples taken from Cedros residents have been diagnosed as negative for malaria but councillor Shankar Teelucksingh says testing must continue.
In an interview on Fri-day, Teelucksingh called on the government to continue testing at the Cedros port and around schools in the southwestern peninsula, before the start of the new school term, which opens on Monday.
“We need the Govern-ment to set up a mobile unit at the port equipped with body temperature scanners so if a foreigner comes in with signs of a fever, immediate testing can be done,” Teelucksingh said.
He added that there have been two confirmed cases of malaria in Cedros, adding that hundreds of Venezuelans were infected by malaria, cholera and other ailments because of the social and economic crisis in that country.
“What they are doing is the basic perifocal work. I am satisfied with this because such work will assist in preventing any possible outbreak and what checks and balances are they putting for the illegal Venezuelans coming across? Why hasn’t a mobile unit been set up to deal with incoming foreigners?” Teelucksingh asked. He also called on the Ministry to set up a system whereby patients are monitored at private doctor’s offices.
“I also want testing to be done around the Icacos Government School, Fullarton Primary School, Cedros Government Primary, and Cedros Composite,” Teelucksingh said, in a telephone interview with Guardian Media yesterday.
In a statement on Friday, the Ministry said the Insect Vector Control Division (IVCD) took 50 blood samples for malaria, all of which tested negative for malaria. The Ministry said on Monday, 11 people were tested and on Tues-day, 39 tests were done.
The Ministry said the IVCD will continue its routine activities for the surveillance and control of mosquito-borne diseases in targeted areas throughout T&T by treating homes and continuing surveillance and testing.
“Field Officers of the IVCD will inspect and treat homes and communities where mosquito breeding is suspected. This treatment includes the use of thermal fogging for adult forms of the mosquito, use of Aquatain for killing mosquito larvae and pupae in water containers and use of Bactivec to kill mosquito larvae in waterways and water containers. Aquatain and Bactivec are agents approved by the World Health Organization for use and are safe for humans and the environment when appropriately applied,” the Ministry said.