WINDHOEK - The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that it has banned all travellers from countries hit by Ebola as part of precautionary measures to prevent the deadly virus from reaching the country.
“I advise those who intend to come to Namibia from Ebola countries not to come here until further notice,” said the health minister Dr Richard Kamwi, who further strongly advised that no Namibians should take the risk of travelling to the affected countries, thereby maybe getting infected and upon return infecting fellow Namibians.
Namibians coming from countries ravaged by Ebola would be allowed into the country but would be subjected to strict screening at the port of entry to ensure they are not infected with Ebola.
“Those who might be found to be infected shall be subjected to isolation in accordance with the World Health Organisation guidelines,” he said.
The minister did not name the countries affected but nearly more than 1 000 people have died from Ebola in Liberia, Sierre Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, which are all in West Africa.
He added that the travel advice includes Namibian citizens, and permanent and temporary residents.
“We do not need to panic but let us not be complacent, and ensure that our emergency responses system is well functioning and that protective medical equipment is well stocked in case of the unlikely event of the virus coming south,” said Kamwi after consultations with President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Prime Minister Hage Geingob, the Minister of Home Affairs, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and the Attorney General, Dr Albert Kawana, regarding travel advisories and control measures.
Kamwi said the ministry also decided to increase preventive measures by acquiring thermal detectors which will be assembled and commissioned at Hosea Kutako International Airport, Walvis Bay Airport and the port and the Oshikango Border Post.
“We have acquired N$1.5 million from the Ministry of Finance and this has been spent on thermal detectors, and will take eight to ten weeks to be here,” said Kamwi.
Furthermore, Kamwi said the ministry is acquiring more protective clothing for health practitioners.
Ebola causes flu-like symptoms including fever. In the worst cases, it causes unstoppable bleeding. It spreads among humans via bodily fluids including sweat, so can be spread by simply touching an infected person.
With no vaccine, patients believed to have caught the virus have to be isolated to stop further contagion.
No case of Ebola has surfaced in Namibia which began implementing measures to prevent the spread of the disease since mid-July.
New Era Reporter
2014-08-18 08:34:30 4 years ago