The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) says if nothing is done to aggressively eliminate mosquito-breeding sites across the country, there could be an increase in cases of the mosquito borne Zika Virus.
In a release late Monday, the PNP said it does not believe that enough has done enough to rid the island of mosquito breeding sites adding that although millions of dollars were spent on a de-bushing programme last year, there was no focus on cleaning gullies and at risk communities.
“In addition there have been complaints of delays in garbage collection in many communities across the island. Furthermore, the community mosquito eradication programme has not been aggressively pursued as promised by the Health Minister.”
The opposition party says as a result “everybody is now exposed to a possibility of new outbreak of the Zika Virus due to the poor choices by the government”.
“These poor choices include the ill-conceived J$1.5 million false promise, which has negatively impacted the 2017/2018 budget causing cuts in critical sectors such as health”.
According to the PNP, media reports and admission by the Health Ministry have only confirmed that the promised focus did not materialise due to partisan consideration.
“The country is facing another Zika Virus crisis and we have a responsibility to protect our people, particularly our pregnant women”.
The party noted that the virus has been allowed “to proliferate to crisis proportions while the government insists on leadership by turf”.
It warned that the country’s productive and tourism sections could suffer great set back if “this crisis remains unchecked”.
Local health officials have recorded almost 10,000 notifications of suspected cases of the Zika virus in Jamaica between January 2016 and last month.