CMO: No need to change hours

There is no need for an adjustment in work and school hours to contend with the current heatwave, says the Chief Medical Officer.

However, The Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George has disclosed that the hot temperatures being experienced in recent times is occupying the attention of the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

“We live in the tropics, we know that climate change will be an issue and very topical at this point, but I do not believe that we should move to the stage where we stop to consider changing our working hours or school hours because of the heat. Fortunately, many of our classrooms are open ventilated and the schools are expected to have water coolers and access to potable water on their premises,” he told the MIDWEEK NATION.

George said his office has issued several guidelines to the Ministry of Education which, if followed, will protect students when the new term begins next week. He also recommended that people working outdoors should be out of the direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

“We have issued some guidelines for schools, which should soon be published by the Ministry of Education. We shared our perspective with the Ministry of Education and I am going to allow them to issue those guidelines prior to the beginning of the school term.

“With respect to what you can do to protect yourselves from the heat, I would suggest that individuals who work in construction and outdoor activities avoid the sun as much as possible during the hotter times of day. The sun is hottest 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and we should stay out of the direct sunlight during those periods,” he added.

Earlier this week, president of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, Dr Lynda Williams, expressed concern for those working in the heat.

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