NATION

Task Force Formed

An Ebola Task Force has been set up across a range of ministries to monitor the local and the regional situations and take steps to ensure Fijians protection from Ebola
27 Oct 2014 10:04
Task Force Formed
Health officials in Liberia.

An Ebola Task Force has been set up across a range of ministries to monitor the local and the regional situations and take steps to ensure Fijians protection from Ebola virus.

Led by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the taskforce would be taking steps to ensure that Fiji was well equipped to deal with any contingency.

Ministry spokesperson Sunil Chandra said the ministry was adamant that the chances of the Ebola virus entering Fiji remained low.

“In early Augusta Multi Agency Technical Advisory Group was mobilised to facilitate preparations for border control, clinical management, laboratory testing and surveillance in anticipation of any case,” Mr Chandra said.

He said earlier this month, in a meeting they had finalised the preparedness and response plan and protocol for Ebola at the border.

“The plan on Ebola ensures that the capacities were well established to prevent the importation of Ebola and if it breaches the border then to manage and eliminate it rapidly,” Mr Chandra said.

The consultation took place between the ministry, advisors from World Health Organisation and representatives from the defence, immigration and customs as well as foreign affairs, ports authority and also Airports Fiji Limited as well as the airlines.

Mr Chandra said people would be quarantined at the international airport for the virus.

The ministry confirmed that there were no suspicions or any cases of it in the country yet.

The ministry acknowledges that if the exotic Ebola virus disease was to enter Fiji, it would do so via an infected traveller entering the country’s airport, given the efficiency of aviation in moving large amounts of people across borders globally.

However, the ministry is pleading with members of the public to hold off travel plans to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal as these are hot spot countries for the disease.

“The risk of contracting Ebola for family members in the above mentioned countries is minimal unless they reside in hot spots or are working with animals especially bats or monkey or involved with health work.”

Mr Chandra said the nation would be notified if the threat level changed.

farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 



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