THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Stating that there was no need for any panic with respect to Ebola virus fever, Health Minister V S Sivakumar said that all precautionary measures have been taken as per the guidelines issued by the Central Government.
He was speaking after the high-level meeting convened here for taking preventive measures against Ebola fever.
“The passengers from West African countries such as Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone will be screened at the airports,” he said, adding that the service of doctors and para-medical staffhave been provided at the helpdesks at the three international airports - Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
Dr Amar Fettel has been appointed as the nodal officer for coordinating the activities with the Centre and Airports Authority of India, he added.
Sivakumar said that all arrangements have been made at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode Medical Colleges and at the general hospitals at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode for checking suspected Ebola patients. Moreover, instructions have been issued to give training to the medical teams at these hospitals, he said. Arrangements have been made to send blood samples of suspectedpatients to the Virology Institute at Pune.
As part of precautionary measures, steps will be taken through health inspectors to ensure that those who come to the state from the above mentioned countries do not mingle for 21 days, the period during which symptoms will appear if a person is infected.
Health Secretary Dr K Elangovan, NRHM director Minhaj Alam, NORKA CEO Sudeep, Airports Authority of India representative B Krishnakumar were among those present.
No Screening Done on Pala Native
Kottayam: In what appears to be a serious lapse from the part of the Health Department, a Sierra Leone-returned man in Pala has been left unchecked even after the World has taken a serious view of the Ebola outbreak in West African countries. While the state government has set up special medical help desks in three international airports in the state to screen air travellers for the virus, a man hailing from Pala, who reached his home near Pala from Sierra Leone around a month ago, has not been asked to turn up for a medical examination so far. According District Medical Officer, N M Ayesh Bai, there were no directions to conduct any special medical check-ups so far, unless travellers showed any symptoms of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) like fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding. The man who is a plantation labourer in Sierra Leone told ‘Express’ that he left the country well before the outbreak was reported there.