Water is funnelled into jugs in a gutter in Spring Village on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The Ministry of Health has warned against consuming contaminated water. (IWN photo)

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has deployed personnel across the country to educate residents about healthy lifestyle choices and provide water purification tablets to all citizens.

Luis de Shong, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, said in a press release on Sunday that environmental health officers, nurses who work within the various communities and other health professionals have been deployed as the nation awaits the full restoration of public utility services in the wake of the 12/24/13 disaster.

de Shong noted the disruption of solid waste collection and municipal potable water supply and said the Ministry is asking the public to exercise sound judgment when conducting their regular daily activities.

“The absence of the primary water supply from the Central Water and Sewerage Authority and the interruption of regular waste collection services may result in persons engaged in unsanitary practices to sustain lives and livelihood. One household’s source of water may be another’s waste disposal site. In this regard, the general public is requested to desist from using unsafe water for any form of human consumption and to practice safe and hygienic onsite storage of solid waste,” de Shong said.

“Moreover, in an attempt to prevent the occurrence and outbreak of communicable diseases, especially those associated with the consumption of unsafe water and food, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, in collaboration with other public and private entities, has activated its Health Disaster Response Mechanism. As a consequence, there will be more resources available towards reducing the human health impacts associated with the recent national occurrence,” he further said.

De Shong also assured the public that there is no outbreak of communicable diseases in the country in the wake of the weather system on Tuesday, which has claimed nine lives, and has left widespread devastation as a result of floods and landslides.