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Airliners spraying for Zika prevention; Zika impacting tourism arrivals

Providenciales, 08 Feb 2016 – The UK is asking airliners to spray insecticide within the cabin of their planes before landing; it is similar to what the TCI Government had asked of regional carrier – Bahamasair – when that country was plagued with an explosion of reports of Dengue Fever in 2011. Bahamasair still continues that practice.

Both domestic airlines fly to countries where Zika cases are recorded; InterCaribbean Airways or ICA commutes to the most nations in the Caribbean reporting Zika infections; namely: Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti and Caicos Express Airways makes trips to Haiti.

This however does not discount the TCIs link to US states reporting Zika including Florida, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Georgia.

The British public health minister, Jane Ellison said in a statement: “Spraying insecticide is a highly precautionary measure to reduce the risk to passengers during flights to the U.K.”

On Friday the Ministry of Health and Human Services in the Turks and Caicos announced that a special convening of Cabinet has released about $328,000 to Government to immediately institute measures to fend off the Zika Virus, which is most scary to the general public because it is linked to brain damage in unborn babies.

Government says it will have more manpower to spray more areas, more regularly and with new equipment including hand held foggers to get into areas not easily accessible by vehicle.

Officials continue to plug that the TCI is Zika Free; however as we are counted as a part of the Caribbean, the country is lumped in with the other nations which the American Centers for Disease Control is warning not to visit if one is pregnant, or considering pregnancy.

All indications are, Zika is affecting tourism arrivals to the Caribbean, including the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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