ONE of the 75 women charged last year with soliciting for prostitution has been afflicted by the Chikungunya virus.
A medical certificate was submitted to the court on Thursday for the woman from the Dominican Republic who contracted the illness in her native country.
Defence attorney Shawn Teekasingh told the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court that the information on the document was in Spanish but had been translated into English.
But upon reading the document, Magistrate Margaret Alert said she did not believe the word Chikungunya needed any translation.
She adjourned the matter.
Apart from the woman suffering from ChikV, the court also heard that another defendant was absent because she was pregnant and at hospital.
Four warrants were issued for other co-accused women who failed to appear for their court matters.
Alert ordered that on arrest they be placed on $15,000 bail.
Those who attended court had their matters adjourned to November 11.
They were charged that on March 8, 2013 while at Classic Seamen Hotel and Bar at Vistabella, they allegedly solicited passersby for the purpose of prostitution.
The charge was later amended to include the word “loitering”.
The women from Colombia, Guyana and the Dominican Republic were charged under Section 46 (J) of the Summary Offences Act.
The maximum sentence for this offence is two months in prison.
The case against one was discharged following a trial last year.
In July, Dr James Hospedales, executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (Carpha) said chikungunya, has entered 26 Caribbean countries and “it is spreading at one country per week.”
Last week Health Minister Fuad Khan said there were 22 confirmed cases of the disease in this country.
Chikungunya also called ChikV is a viral disease which is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue fever.