Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 26th 2013 Contents A9
Friday, July 26, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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for JULY 25th 2013
The Ministry of
Health is planning to
meet with leaders of Hajj
groups in T&T to advise
them on the deadly Mid-
dle East Respiratory
(MERS-CoV), says Min-
ister of Health Dr Fuad
In a telephone inter-
view yesterday, Khan said:
"People who would be
going to Saudi Arabia for
the Hajj pilgrimage pose
the main threat for us in
The Hajj is a pilgrimage
to Saudi Arabia which
Muslims perform once in
their lifetime and will take
place in October.
Khan said his ministry
was working on a plan to
share with Hajj group
leaders to help them take
precautions against the
department in the min-
istry is planning on ways
to make the group leaders
aware of the problem
while at the same time
preventing them from
panicking," he said.
He said people who
were travelling to the
Middle East on business
also should be careful.
Because the virus is
transmitted via droplets
in the air, wearing a face
mask is one of the most
effective ways of prevent-
ing its spread, Khan
The port health units
at the point of entries in
T&T have been alerted to
screen travellers from the
Middle East, he added.
Last year, between 3.2
million to 3.7 million
people took part in the
according to reports.
who has been a Hajj
group leader for the past
35 years, said the virus
was the most serious
health issue he had
Ministry to warn Hajj
groups on dangers of MERS
Members of the Charlotteville Heritage Performers go through a dance routine during their presentation,
Twenty Plus Glorious Years, at the Charlotteville Recreation Ground on Monday night as part of the
Tobago Heritage Festival. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
A private medical institution
and a doctor have been blocked
from removing themselves from
a medical negligence lawsuit
brought by former finance min-
ister Karen Tesheira.
The application was filed earlier
this year after surgeon Dr Lester
Goetz, one of two doctors listed in
Tesheira s lawsuit, opted to settle
the claim against him last Septem-
After the settlement, the insti-
tution, Gulf View Medical Centre,
and anaesthetist Dr Crisen Roopc-
hand claimed the lawsuit against
them should be struck out because
Goetz s admission absolved them
of liability. They claimed the con-
tinued lawsuit was an abuse of
But in a seven-page judgment
delivered in the Port-of-Spain High
Court yesterday afternoon, Justice
Vasheist Kokaram dismissed the
application sought by Gulf View
Medical and Roopchand.
Kokaram said: "The claim is care-
fully drafted to plead separate
aspects of negligence against the
three parties. They are parties who
played their distinct roles in the
surgical procedure before, during
and post the surgery. Each deserves
its own special consideration."
He said the continued claim
would not be prejudiced by Goetz s
admission of liability and settle-
"Certainly on the issue of quan-
tum the court would have to revisit
the terms of the compromise agree-
ment so that there is no windfall
gained by the claimant (Tesheira)
but that can certainly be determined
at that stage, if indeed liability can
be attributed to these defendants
at all for the death of Mr Tesheira,"
The trial for the lawsuit is sched-
uled to take place in December.
Tesheira instituted the claim after
her 53-year-old husband, Russell
Tesheira, died at the centre on April
13, 2004. He was vice-president of
sales and agencies administration
at insurance company Clico.
In May last year, Kokaram dis-
missed the lawsuit after Tesheira s
lawyers twice failed to file expert
medical evidence, crucial to her
case, by the specified dates. Tesheira
appealed the decision.
Before the appeal was heard by
the Appeal Court, Tesheira came
to the settlement with Goetz.
In October last year, the Appeal
Court agreed with Tesheira s appeal
and reinstated her lawsuit against
the centre and Roopchand, allowing
her additional time to file her evi-
As a secondary issue, Kokaram
was also asked to rule on whether
the La Romaine-based medical
institution and Roopchand should
be allowed to file an ancillary claim
against Goetz, seeking contribution
and an indemnity from him.
Kokaram also dismissed the
application, saying it was meritless.
"These defendants have armed
themselves with their own evidence
and from a cursory glance it deals
with the denial of negligence, the
discharge of their duty of care and
certainly can put forward a spirited
defence which has always been their
position regardless of the position
of Mr Goetz," Kokaram said.
Tesheira was represented by Dou-
glas Mendes, SC, Simon de la
Bastide and Marcelle Ferdinand.
Gulf View Medical and the doc-
tors legal team included Kemrajh
Harrikisson, Christopher Hamel-
Smith, Riaz Seecharan and Debra
Medical centre, doctor stay in Tesheira's suit
encountered, as a Hajj
Mohammed said he
was pleased to learn the
Ministry of Health would
provide guidance to Hajj
He added: "It s a good
thing because we don t
have a clue about how to
deal with it in an effective
manner. If the Minister
of Health could advise
us, we would be very
"The most we do as
Hajj leaders is advise our
members on simple
hygienic practises and on
taking daily medication
but we don t know how
to go about dealing with
this matter specifically."
Four T&T Hajj groups,
carrying a total of 240
people, is expected to
travel to Saudi Arabia for
the pilgrimage this year,
This year, close to 2.4
million people are expect-
ed to make the pilgrim-
age, he said.
"When you have close
to three million in one
place, that s a recipe for
disaster and we must be
careful," he said.
• To date, 90 people have been infected worldwide and 45 of
them have died.
• Saudi Arabia accounts for 70 of the cases and 38 deaths.
• Other cases have been reported in France, Germany, Italy,
Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
• All cases have had links to the Middle East.
• MERS-CoV belongs to the same family as the virus which
causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).
• Symptoms of MERS-CoV are mostly respiratory and include
fever, cough, shortness of breath and diarrhoea
• No specific treatment exists, only supportive treatment
• No vaccine is currently available.
• Preventative measures include: Avoid close contact with people
with respiratory illnesses, wash hands frequently, avoid touching
your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• If you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, within 14
days after travelling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula, you
should see your healthcare provider.
(from the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease
Control and Prevention)
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