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Govt unveils guidelines to curb spread of Ebola

22 August 2014, 09:13

Nairobi - The government said Thursday it has provided all port health staff with guidelines on strict surveillance for Ebola virus to ensure that the virus does not come into the country.

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the guidelines will steer health institutions in the country on what to do if the dreaded virus hits the nation.

"As such our staff are vigilant to ensure every suspected case is detected and action taken to secure this country from importation of Ebola," Macharia said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Macharia said the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is a global public threat of grave concern that needs to be treated.

He said the ministry has alerted all ports of entry on the measures it was taking to avert the importation of Ebola into the country.

"As a result of our port health officers have been screening all persons entering into Kenya from those four countries affected by Ebola," Macharia said.

Local media reported on Wednesday migrants from Ebola hit West African countries had sneaked into Kenya through its Western borders with Uganda, but the government has denied the reports.

Kenya has announced a suspension of flights to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone following the Ebola scare in the latest measures to curb the spread of the virus into the country.

The ban took effect on Tuesday midnight and only Kenyan nationals arriving from these countries will be allowed to pass through the main airports.

Unconfirmed reports from the media alleged that West African nationals have exploited loopholes in the borders to enter the Kenyan soil. The media report added that these illegal migrants had evaded Ebola screening at the border.

Leaders from counties bordering Uganda on Tuesday sounded alarm over an influx of citizens from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

However, the health cabinet secretary clarified that state agencies monitoring Ebola at ports of entry have not detected any case.

"After all, by the time the said West Africans are said to have crossed the Busia border, flights were still being allowed to land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and thus beats logic why anyone would fly to a neighboring country and cross to Kenya by road," Macharia said.

- Xinhua

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