Kenya enhances Ebola screening at entry points

July 31, 2014 5:22 am
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The National Disaster Operations Centre says the Port Health Services have been put on standby at all major airports to ensure the country is safe from the deadly disease/FILE
The National Disaster Operations Centre says the Port Health Services have been put on standby at all major airports to ensure the country is safe from the deadly disease/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – The government has announced enhanced screening measures at all border points to contain the spread of Ebola.

The National Disaster Operations Centre says the Port Health Services have been put on standby at all major airports to ensure the country is safe from the deadly disease.

Doctors Without Borders has warned the crisis gripping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would only get worse and warned there was no overarching strategy to handle the world’s worst outbreak of the disease.

Fears that the West African Ebola outbreak could spread to other continents grew early this week with European and Asian countries on alert and a leading medical charity warning the epidemic was out of control.

The US Peace Corps announced it was pulling hundreds of volunteers from the three countries.

And another US group, Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, was also temporarily withdrawing its non-essential staff from Liberia, citing regional “instability and ongoing security issues”.

Hong Kong announced quarantine measures for suspected cases, although one woman arriving from Africa with possible symptoms tested negative, while the EU said it was ready to deal with the threat.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has held talks with global health officials on potential measures to halt the spread of the disease.

In Britain, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond chaired the government’s COBRA crisis management committee to assess the situation. One person has tested negative for the disease.

“The prime minister does regard it as a very serious threat,” Hammond said. “We are very much focused on it as a new and emerging threat which we need to deal with.”

He said the emergency meeting had decided that the best approach was to provide “additional resources to deal with the disease at source” in west Africa.

Ebola can kill victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in some cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.

Since March, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The US Peace Corps announced Wednesday it was pulling hundreds of volunteers from the three countries.

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