Cabinet is giving consideration to the remuneration of health care workers who may have to treat Ebola cases, Health Minister Fuad Khan says.He said so in Parliament yesterday as he addressed the current worldwide concerns and T&T's readiness for the deadly virus.
Public Services Association president Watson Duke had called for extra remuneration and an insurance of at least $10 million for health care workers who will be asked to work in the special Ebola unit Government proposes to set up to deal with any suspected cases of the virus.Yesterday, Khan said while some may have attempted to profit from the matter and peddle fear and hysteria, he was presenting the facts on it.
"Significant progress has been made in making T&T ready to control any possible outbreak of Ebola through good preparation, proactive public education, early detection and rapid response, isolation and treatment, contact tracing, co-ordination between agencies and investment in emergency response," he said.
Recounting Government's action in the issue so far, including spearheading a Caricom meeting on this, Khan said the training of staff at health facilities and ports of entry to detect and isolate suspected cases was ongoing Cabinet had also approved importation of an Odulair Unit two-bed Ebola treatment unit. Upgrades to allow for handling of any Ebola cases have begun at the Caura Ebola Treatment Centre and Piarco International Airport, he said.
Khan said 20 hand-held thermal scanners for ports of entry have been ordered and are expected in two weeks.Thirty Hazmat (Hazardous Material) Level A suits are also expected in four weeks. Specifications for two mass screening thermal scanners are being evaluated and are expected to be ordered within the next week, with delivery in three weeks.
Personal protective equipment has been purchased, including category three coveralls (Hazmat suit type), N95 masks, overhoods, overboots, rubber boots and face shields. Standard protective equipment was distributed to all health facilities between October 3 and 19 and Category 3 coveralls will be delivered by November 19, he added.