The St. Catherine Public Health Department says there has been continued vector control activities in Portmore, particularly Waterford. Grayson Hutchinson, Chief Public Health Inspector for the parish, said the activities started long before notifications of dengue cases were received and have increased since. Attention is being placed on Waterford as Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas has stated that two recent suspected dengue related deaths occurred in the community. Responding to questions during Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the Portmore Municipal Corporation, Mr. Hutchinson said vector control activities have been carried out in the entire Waterford community, with a total of 885 homes being inspected and 21 found to breed mosquitoes. The affected properties have treated. Mr. Hutchinson also spoke to the concern about fogging of schools in the municipality, noting that most of that work was yet to be done. “There are a number of schools which we have in fact received from the council as priority schools and it is our intention to ensure all of those schools are fogged,” he explained. But the public health department’s explanation that the fogging of schools in Portmore, with the exception of those in Waterford have not yet been done, was met with displeasure by Mayor Leon Thomas, who argued that the department was waiting too long to carry out the vector control activities. The Chief Public Health Inspector for St. Catherine responded that the decision to go ahead with the re-opening of schools in Portmore, without them being fumigated, was made by after discussion between the Ministers of Health and Education, as well as information received by his department and other sources.
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