Minister concerned over Zika “scare tactics”

Minister concerned over Zika “scare tactics”

Health Minister, Alvina Reynolds, has said with regard to the Zika virus that there is a tendency for people to use scare tactics.

Reynolds was responding to a question from a reporter in relation to similar comments made recently by Tourism Minister, Lorne Theophilus.

Theophilus attracted criticism when he asserted that the Zika virus threat was being blown out of proportion with the entire region being painted with the same brush, even though Saint Lucia has not recorded a case of the mosquito borne virus.

“There is a tendency for people sometimes to use the scare tactics and to blow things out of proportion which has been happening sometimes on the international level, and the Minister spoke to the cancellations of bookings at hotels,” Reynolds told reporters.

She added:

“When you begin to lose one hundred thousand dollars in your tourism sector within seventy-two hours that is something to be concerned about.”

According to the health Minister, Saint Lucia is battling with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to say that certain countries, but not all in the region, have registered Zika cases.

“But they brand us all: ’Do not travel to the region because Zika is all over!” Reynolds lamented.

She asserted that some things are being blown out of proportion, causing a scare for persons who want to visit Saint Lucia.

Reynolds explained that there are financial implications if Zika were to hit a small developing state like this country.

“We have to send the message out there without scare mongering,” she said.

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