Jamaica News: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says some 6,000 notices have been served on persons failing to destroy mosquito breeding sites on their properties.
He made the disclosure during a press briefing held at the Ministry’s New Kingston’s offices on Thursday (November 28).
“We have stepped up where moral suasion has not worked. The law does allow us under the Public Health Act to work with the authorities to prosecute persons who are harbouring breeding sites in and around their homes,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Minister informed that the Public Health Act does allow for persons to be prosecuted and charged up to $1 million for not destroying the breeding sites that are contributing to the dengue challenge.
“If we have to use the law, we will use the law. Ideally, we would like persons to recognise that it is in their self-interest to act, but, nevertheless, we have to do what is necessary to protect others if those individuals are creating the nuisance,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses.
Persons are advised to discard items that can accumulate water, such as old drums, used tyres, and plastic containers; wear long-sleeved shirts and pants outdoors; and regularly change water in animal and pet containers.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, informed that as at November 21, the National Surveillance Unit had more than 13,000 notifications for dengue in its database, received since January 1, 2018.
Of the more than 13,000 notifications for the period, 7,856 cases, with dates of onset in the period under review, have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed.
In addition, Between January 1, 2018 and November 21 this year, there have been 63 dengue-related deaths.