A team of doctors and nurses will be sent to India for a special training on the prevention and treatment of Ebola infection in a bid to keep a tab on the deadly virus, Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala said.
Dr. Mahipala said the decision to train a local medical team on Ebola was taken at the progress review meeting held on Ebola Prevention at the Government Epidemiology Unit today.
“We are concerned over the sharp increase of Ebola cases in Africa and its spreading to many other countries in Europe and the US,” he said.
“Therefore, we have put in place a special preventive programme to prevent the virus entering the country that includes round-the-clock screening of air passengers at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) who arrive from Ebola hot spots,” Dr. Mahipala said.
While maintaining that the possibility of a tourist with the deadly Virus entering Sri Lanka was slim, Dr. Mahipala said that a 24/7 vigilance was necessary.
The Ebola Virus first detected in Congo in 1976 and the extremely fatal infection has now spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau and some other parts of the world.
“However, tourist arrivals are minimum to Sri Lanka from Africa and therefore, the risk of Ebola Virus entering the country is also minimal,” he added.
“Arrangements have been made to quarantine any tourist suspected of having infected with the Ebola virus to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) at Angoda,” he said.
“the suspected people will be treated by a specially trained team of doctors and nurses,” Dr. Mahipala said.
“Ebola virus does not transmit through air but through blood or sexual intercourse. Therefore, it is not difficult to keep Ebola Virus away,” he said. (Sandun A Jayasekera)