21 août 2009

My 'H1N1 flu in Mauritius' movie review...

It's been a few days now that THE HOT! topic, the hot word is H1N1 in Mauritius. The flu entered our midst at the very moment it is spreading in the poorer countries of the World.

Between lack of information and preparation and paranoia, there's less than a step - most of all when the incident was totally expectable.....

My 'movie review' as I call it, because I really feel like it's a movie, stands in very few sentences for I don't really feel like spending time on expanding, discussing or debating stupidity.

Synopsis + critic :

The Minister of Education, at no cost, would accept schools to be closed, things had to go on as they were. He takes a decision: anyone having flu symptoms should be sent back home and on that very evening the MBC TV shows us in the 'Government Advert Show' ..I mean the news, through statistics, how students and teachers have been sent home since a week - but QUESTION: If the decision had been taken on that very day after a crisis meeting, how come it was already effective?

Then, there is a panic everywhere with as sole responsible: the Media. This is the point where the freedom of press turns informative programs and editorials into alarming ones. Rabin Bhunjun, chief editor of weekly L'express Dimanche will admit it later during the week. You cannot turn radio on or buy a newspaper with hearing or reading alarming headlines and this had a major influence on people's reaction creating a real paranoia as we are only reading numbers of people infected, people dying; with only preventive directive to wash our hands regularly.

This is what somehow legitimizes the Media reaction actually - the Ministries' actions! That is, uhhh nothing or rather nothing much. Hospitals are overloaded, people with flu symptoms are not tested for H1N1 unless they are on the verge on dying, as someone I follow on twitter had put it! No real preventive campaign is done and we are told that the Tamiflu's - H1N1 antidote - expiry date has been extended. At this point, everyone goes like: "Is it a joke or what?" Though the medicines are still safe, it's never very reassuring to come to a situation where its expiry date has to be reviewed.

Statistics and statistics again, that's all we hear and see, that's what alarms almost everyone. Reunion Island has been infected since much before us and encountered no death when we were counting four already. This definitely demonstrates how amateur strictly ALL the concerned authorities have been.

Prime Minister talks live on radio stations and some people expect to hear an important message or decision (yes, some did). He simply explains what the virus is about, with an over-confident self-important tone at times.

Mauritians feel left on their own, no-one caring for them - at a moment I felt some people were like "OMG! We are all going to die anyway" Uhhhmmm, we aren't there yet however! Something definitely had to be done and this is where there is a new crisis meeting with the Prime Minister.

We learn that this meeting has taken place as we are informed that the decision to close schools for disinfection has been taken. So, OK! - basically to disinfect any surface from the H1N1 virus, you just have to leave it for 6 hours. But well, our prime minister is much smarter than I am anyway. By taking this decision, he actually responded to the different bodies asking authorities to close schools for two weeks, diminish infection risks.

And most of all, for a super political eyewash! It seems pretty much that the Hon. Minister of Education and the Hon. Prime Minister disagree on this decision. Minister, Dr V. Bunwaree said he is to meet teachers' Trade Union tomorrow for he is not satisfied with some decisions taken. *reminder - he did not want to close schools* What is clear as from that moment, however, is that no-one can say that the authorities are not caring for us - for the Prime Minister, pretended he did it!

Notes are to be given to parents who have to fetch them at schools, very often accompanied by their children. Concretely, not all classes actually received proper notes and homework and there was a major activity in most schools, as I tweeted it earlier - a Virus Open Day at schools, with students roaming to tuitions. So here,

QUESITON: is closing all schools actually efficient in the end?

You will notice I didn't actually write about what the Minister of Health personally did, for he did nothing much, he has played the absent one. A more than dramatic scene is however being played in his services, fact on which I'll get back through another post ASAP - nurses and general healthcare personnel being reluctant to work because of the risk of getting infected!

That's all for now.... no thumbs up for this movie......just two words up in my mind: amateurism and pitiful!


Photo: 1. www.photobucket.com 2. source - www.lexpress.mu