PM acknowledges criticism of chikungunya-crisis

POSTED: 02/27/14 12:53 PM

St. Maarten – The government is aware of the criticism St. Maarten Weekly News editor Jeff Berger expressed about the way it has handled the chikungunya-crisis in American and Canadian media, Prime Minister Wescot-Williams said at yesterday’s press briefing. Especially the text message sent out to mobile phones by social insurance bureau SZV that labels chikungunya as “potentially life threatening” has caused a panic in the most important source markets for tourism.

“We should say that differently,” Wescot-Williams said yesterday. “In the past couple of weeks we have discussed chikungunya in the Council of Ministers. The focus was primarily on encouraging individual citizens to take action. Two weeks ago we recognized that we ought to step up actions in the outside world.”

The Prime Minister said that the Tourist Bureau is working on the issue and that a mass mailing is in preparation to set the record straight.

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