Explore Ways to Keep Ebola Far From India

Published: 20th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2014 11:09 PM   |  A+A-

The clarification that a Nigerian admitted to a government hospital in New Delhi was not a patient of Ebola is a matter of great relief. It is also true that a Nigerian woman on her way to India had Ebola-like symptoms and died at Abu Dhabi. The incidents are a pointer to the challenges India faces, as the viral disease spreads in West Africa already killing nearly 1,200 patients in countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. While no such case has been reported in India, the government cannot remain complacent and has to take a host of preventive measures. As it is, there is no medical remedy to Ebola.

Though the WHO has authorised the use of an as-yet-untested-on-human beings American drug, its commercial availability will be several months away. In other words, the medical authorities will have to think of other ways to prevent the epidemic from reaching India. The travel advisory India has issued against visiting Ebola-affected countries is too mild, to say the least. In areas where the disease has been reported, the authorities have introduced a policy of not allowing anyone to leave, reminiscent of the way plague was fought centuries ago. India, too, will have to adopt some such policies to keep it free from the virus.

The incubation period of Ebola ranges from two days to three weeks. At present, people flying into the country from West Africa are let in on the basis of their own statements and the lack of symptoms. It may be necessary to quarantine them at the airport for a maximum of three weeks before they are allowed to enter the country. Even after they are cleared, they should be kept under constant surveillance. The health ministry has to develop and disseminate a protocol to handle cases of Ebola. The Indian drug industry, which has a reputation for developing cheap but efficient drugs, needs to see in Ebola a new challenge. While there is no need to panic, the nation should be prepared to square up to Ebola if it becomes necessary.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp