Centre reviews preparedness to deal with Ebola

The government Tuesday reviewed the preparedness for containing the dreaded Ebola disease which has claimed hundreds of lives in western Africa.

The union cabinet secretary held a review meeting with secretaries and officers of the ministries of health, civil aviation, home and information and broadcasting to review the preparedness of the government on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), officials said.

The cabinet secretary was briefed on the scale of the EVD and steps taken by the ministries towards prevention and surveillance of the suspected cases.

The cabinet secretary directed the creation of a portal for systematic, easy and effective information-sharing between the ministries on passengers travelling to India from the affected countries that will enable more effective surveillance and tracking of the suspected cases, the officials said.

The health ministry will train immigration officers at the identified airports on how to deal with passengers travelling from the affected countries.

It was also decided at the meeting to sensitise the cabin crew of various airlines towards the nature of the EVD to enable them to understand the issue and deal more effectively with passengers. The chief secretaries of all the state governments have been requested to track and monitor passengers from the affected countries. They have also been requested to strengthen the existing isolation facilities.

The World Health Organisation has reported 1,848 cases of Ebola so far, including 1,013 deaths due to the disease.