Govt: SA takes stringent measures against Ebola

Pretoria - The South African government has taken stringent measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola disease in the country.

This comes as fears grow that the outbreak of the disease currently happening in west Africa could spread to other continents.

European and Asian countries are on alert and a leading medical charity warned the epidemic was out of control.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said 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.

Highly infectious Ebola has been blamed for 672 deaths in the West Africa nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

But South Africa’s department of health said citizens need not panic as all precautions are being taken to prevent its spread.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the department is closely monitoring the situation in West Africa and has taken the necessary steps to detect and treat cases if they arrive in the country.

OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria Airport have thermal scanners that detect travellers with raised temperatures. These travellers, when identified, are assessed at the medical facilities at these airports.

"Our surveillance activities are extremely effective," said Minister Motsoaledi.

Minister Motsoaledi said the National Health Laboratory Services and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) have also intensified their surveillance.

The ministry had met with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in April to discuss a plan of action.

An alert was sent out following the first report of the outbreak in Guinea.

The alert emphasised that all port health officials should be aware of the EVD outbreak and look out for travellers with signs and symptoms of Ebola.

 “Outbreak response teams were alerted to be prepared to respond in the event a suspected case was identified in the country,” said the department.

Sunette Smit 2014/07/31 10:52:50 AM
We are doomed. Please prepare for the worst.
Heinrich Etsebeth 2014/07/31 10:56:18 AM
Yes and what about all the other people that one person came into contact with while on a cramped plane for 4 hours. He could have infected hundreds of people that would not show any symptoms yet. Nice thinking mr. government official. Would it not be better to simply close the borders and disallow any flights from that region to land? Just saying.
FastnEasy Loans 2014/07/31 11:08:46 AM
Also Educate the public on the symptoms etc
Carol Harvey 2014/07/31 11:17:24 AM
I don't believe these measures are good enough .... there should be a complete 'no entry' for all persons arriving from those countries ! Sorry, but tough disease means tough measures !
Spikes Joubert 2014/07/31 11:18:38 AM
NOW I am getting worried.
Rty Rty 2014/07/31 11:21:27 AM
it is a good step to have these scanners deployed. the thing is - this should be deployed during the boarding process or at the booking office / counters and not during the disembark phase. stop the disease at the origin. this airborne disease would have already infected all the other passengers....
Marjorie Smith 2014/07/31 11:26:30 AM
So what if the infected person/s took medication to break fever. Govt this is not going to work. Stop all entry to SA from these infected countries. OMW if it hits us...we are doomed !!!
Stefan Van Der Spuy 2014/07/31 11:27:43 AM
With our notoriously porous borders, we can but just hope that no Ebola carriers cross the borders until the situation hopefully stabilizes. Until then, steer clear of the masses, and surround yourself with healthy, non-coughing, non-sneezing people as far as possible.
Dumisani Rikhotso 2014/07/31 11:29:02 AM
Won't jacob's shower strategy work?
Candice Brenda-Lee de Villiers 2014/07/31 11:40:40 AM
why don't they just not let people from those countries not enter our country. HONESTLY!!! cant this government start using their brain!