MoHSS to use Infrared detectors to monitor Ebola

28 Aug 2014 08:10am
WINDHOEK, 28 AUG (NAMPA) – Following the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Ministry of Health and Social Services will now use manual Infrared Thermo Detectors (IRTD) to monitor any signs of the virus in Namibia.
Health Minister Dr Richard Kamwi told the National Assembly on Wednesday that his ministry is working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure that the virus does not reach Namibia.
He said given the outbreak of the virus in Northern DRC as well as the free-flow of passengers between the affected countries, the MoHSS resolved to start using the manual IRTD devices at places like the Wenela Border Post in the Zambezi Region, Katwitwi in the Kavango West Region and at Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region.
“This will affect the flow of traffic in those areas. I would therefore appeal to all passengers and drivers to be patient,” he said.
According to the WHO Regional Office, the Ebola virus which started in three West African countries in December 2013 has to date claimed 1,427 lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and 15 cases were reported in Nigeria.
The DRC on Wednesday said six cases of the Ebola virus in the province of Ecuador have been confirmed by laboratory tests.
Despite this, Kamwi still maintained that Namibia has not reached the stage where it becomes necessary for him to advise the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration (MHAI) to close the borders.
He said the MoHSS has already placed orders for four crowd sensing temperature measurement machines, which will be installed at the four major ports of entry in the country, namely the Hosea Kutako International Airport, Walvis Bay Airport and seaport as well as one at Oshikango.
Although chances of the virus getting to Namibia are said to be “very slim”, Kamwi appealed to Namibians not to travel to any of the affected countries, including the DRC.