Dr. Ferguson made this disclosure yesterday following a visit to the Sangster International Airport where he had discussion with Chief Commercial Officer Elizabeth Brown Scotton and examined the airport’s holding area.
A questionnaire is to be handed out to passengers on incoming flights. It is also hoped that airlines will use their in-flight television channel to assist in a public education programme about what to expect on arrival at the airports. Posters will also be on display at strategic points throughout the airport.
Dr. Ferguson said as the programme is rolled out, it will create added strain on health workers and visitors will experience some inconvenience but it was hoped that all would understand the necessity of having measures in place and cooperate fully.
He stressed that in the event of a suspected case of Ebola turning up at the airport, the victim will only be held in the confined area until he or she is transferred by dedicated ambulance to the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Minister Ferguson presented hand held Thermal Sensors and personal protective gear to Senior Public Health Nurse Jennifer Pearson who supervises the Health Surveillance Desk at the airport. The Thermal Sensor which should be held two meters from persons being screened, records body temperatures in much the same way that the sensors used by the police record driving speed.
Dr. Ferguson disclosed that the health staff complement at the airport would be increased in a matter of weeks.
He was accompanied on his visit by Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Calvin G. Brown; Regional Technical Director at the WRHA, Dr. Diane Campbell- Stennett; Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Marcia Johnson-Campbell; St. James Health Department Parish Manager, Charmaine Williams-Beckford and Port Health Quarantine Officer at the airport, Oneil Brown.