Zika label removed from Caribbean | THE DAILY HERALD


POND ISLAND–The World Health Organization (WHO) has removed its Zika virus label from the Caribbean. The classification of most Caribbean countries as Category 1 (having active Zika transmission) to Category 3 (having no Zika transmission) is no longer active.

Tourism Affairs Minister Stuart Johnson welcomed the news, especially ahead of the 2018-2019 high tourist season.

Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has reported that Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean had been interrupted for more than 12 months or “was at undetectable levels, thereby posing very little risk to residents and visitors to the region.”

That data was matched by those shared with CARPHA by Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States of America. It showed that no Zika had been detected for more than 12 months in travellers returning to their countries from the Caribbean.

Johnson commended regional organizations such as CARPHA, Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) for their regional advocacy on behalf of tourism-dependent destinations including Sint Maarten in achieving the removal of the classification system.

When Zika was at its height in the region, there were a number of cancellations throughout the tourism sector across most if not all destinations.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/82246-zika-label-removed-from-caribbean