Government has announced that an isolation centre specifically designed to handle chronic infectious diseases is being established on the grounds of Enmore, St. Michael.

Health Minister John Boyce made the announcement today at a briefing with media managers at the Ministry of Health.

The Minister said that the isolation centre which is located in a refurbished building would be ready by the end of this month, although work to fully outfit the building would continue.

This is part of a preparedness response to the Ebola Virus Disease which is currently affecting six African countries. Minister Boyce explained that while the risk to Barbados remains low, there was still a threat related to the movement of people. Therefore, he said, Government wanted to assure the public that the health service was equipped to respond in case of an outbreak.

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kenneth George told the briefing that the establishment of the isolation centre was only one of four pillars the Ministry was working on.

The others included the identification of well-trained staff to man the unit, the training of public and private sector stakeholders and ensuring that the quarantine units at the Grantley Adams International Airport and the Bridgetown Port were in a state of readiness. In respect of the latter, he said that some mini-simulation exercises had already been conducted at the ports of entry, and real-time simulations were also planned.

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