‘Hush-hush’ report of viral illness among visitors receives some degree of validation from Ministry of Health insiders

Hospital officials say they are unaware of a story making the rounds that claims three Africans are currently afflicted with a serious virus.

On Wednesday, April 12, REAL News was alerted to this allegation by a member of the health fraternity, who says the matter is, as quoted, “hush-hush.”

Today, however –despite there being no admission from the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre – other sources in the Ministry of Health have confirmed that a top-level executive was called in to evaluate the situation regarding these Africans.

The alleged virus was not identified.  

Prior to this, several persons told our Newsroom they did not believe the allegations, given that the hundreds of West Africans on island have been resident since November or December last year.  

Accordingly, they said, they believed the report was made up, at worst, or exaggerated, at best.

However, the sources in the Ministry of Health point out that the executive member – having such a high level of qualification – would not have been dispatched by the Ministry of Health for a “minor” ailment.

There is concern, in the meantime, that the hospital – said to be in poor infrastructural shape and short of both medicines and supplies – is not equipped to handle any outbreak of a serious illness.

Only last week, residents were expressing dismay at reports that the Cancer Centre attached to the hospital is to be closed down, due to the lack of financial support from the Browne Administration.

“If the Government cannot underwrite the treatment of cancer, how the [heck] is it going to handle a viral outbreak?” an anxious retiree asks.

REAL News will continue to follow this story.