Antigua and Barbuda Health Authorities Monitoring The Freewinds Cruise Ship

Health Authorities in Antigua and Barbuda are on  high alert to ensure that there is not a re-introduction of measles in the country.

The action follows widespread news that the authorities in St Lucia, have quarantined a US ship after a case of measles was reported onboard.

The vessel is the Freewinds  which is said to be owned and operated by the Church of Signtology.

The Freewinds,  is also reportedly destined for Antigua and Barbuda very soon and several non-profit organizations in the country are promoting fund raising activities on the vessel.

The country’s chief medical officer Doctor Rhonda Sealey-Thomas indicated that the Ministry of Health, is aware of the development and is very concerned.

“ We are concerned and we are aware of the situation in St Lucia and yes we have been monitoring, but reassured that the Ministry of Health will take the necessary measures to protect the public against threatenting diseases,”the country’s chief medical officer said.

Health authorities In St Lucia recently confirmed that a tourist ship had been quarantined there earlier this week over fears that at least one of the passengers on board had contracted measles.

The country’sChief Medical Officer, Dr Merlene Fredericks-James, confirmed that the authorities had received “information …from two reputable sources that there was a confirmed case of measles on a cruise ship which visited our island”.

She did not name the cruise ship or where it had visited prior to arriving, but added that the authorities there had acted under the Quarantine Act, the Public Health Act in deciding on the measure to prevent people from leaving the cruise ship.

She said discussions had also been held with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and other external agencies.