Netherlands To Evacuate Two Doctors Who Had Contact With Ebola Victims

Ebola health workers.

Authorities in the Netherlands are preparing to evacuate two Dutch doctors who had unprotected contact in Sierra Leone with patients who later died of Ebola, a Dutch public health official said on Friday.

The two doctors have shown no symptoms of the virus but authorities believe there is cause for concern because they were not wearing full protective clothing when they came into contact with the patients..

“The two doctors’ personal protection should be considered inadequate. They could potentially have been exposed,” said Jaap van Dissel, director of the Dutch Centre for Infectious Disease Control.

The two doctors will be evacuated on a special flight to minimise the risk of contagion to other passengers and monitored closely on arrival, according to media reports.

“It’s only contagious if they have a fever,” van Dissel said, and added that if symptoms developed, the two would be placed in quarantine in a university hospital.

Dutch public television said the case was discovered when the doctors came to the Netherlands’ nearest embassy in Ghana after the patients they had been in contact with at the Lion Heart Medical Centre in Yaletown died of Ebola.

The clinic, which normally deals with cases of malaria, which has symptoms similar to Ebola, has since been shut down by authorities in Sierra Leone.

More than 2,400 people have died so far from Ebola in West Africa since the outbreak started in March, taking a particularly heavy toll among medical workers, more than 120 of whom have died of the disease as of late August, according to the World Health Organization.

Ebola Virus: Govt To Stop Influx Of Tourists Ahead Of Osun Osogbo Festival

Osun_Osogbo_festivalIn Osun State, south-west Nigeria, the state government has said that although it had no recorded case of the Ebola Virus, it has nevertheless put in place pro-active measures to contain and prevent its spread into the state.

One of such moves apart from the inauguration of a committee on Ebola Virus Prevention, is to reduce the influx of tourists into the State for this year’s Osun Osogbo Annual International Festival.

Addressing journalists in Osogbo the state capital, the committee led by the Commissioner for Information, Sunday Akere, said that only the traditional worshippers and well wishers who are resident in the state would be allowed to partake in the celebration to minimise body contact between persons, which is the primary mode of transmitting the virus.

The team made up of medical personnel, information and environment officials, as well as forestry, education personnel and women advocacy groups further reassured the citizens of the state that the aim was not to scare or deprive the festival of its glamour, rather it was meant to avert an Ebola epidemic in the state.

The Osun Osogbo cultural Festival is an annual event which often attracts Africans in Diaspora. It is meant to promote and preserve the cultural heritage of the people.

The Osun groove, the epic center of the festival, where the grand finale will take place, is the second world heritage sites in Nigeria.

It is recognised by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Ebola: Catholic Diocese Bars Corpses In Churches

ebola_virusThe Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, in Benue State, has barred members from taking corpses of late relations to churches for funeral Mass.

As a measure to check the spread of Ebola virus.

The diocese directed that corpses of deceased members should be given immediate burial.

It, however, said that it would allow corpses to be brought to the churches in the area only when death certificates issued by relevant medical authorities were produced.

This is contained in a statement by the Director of Communications in the Diocese, Reverend Father Moses Iorapuu, in Makurdi on Saturday.

The statement, which was issued on behalf of the Bishop of the Diocese, Very Reverend Athanissius Usu, also announced changes in two aspects of activities during mass, including the mode of administering the Holy Communion.

According to the statement, parishioners will henceforth be served the Eucharistic feast on their hands as against the practice of putting it on their tongue by the priest.

Also, it said, the exchange of the sign of peace, involving handshakes has been replaced with other suitable gestures to avoid the possibilities of contracting the Ebola virus.

The Diocese advised priests, who conduct pastoral visitation to hospitals to be cautious and seek doctor’s permission before touching sick people with undisclosed illnesses.

It also announced the prohibition of group prayer sessions that involved touching and praying over unknown sicknesses.

According to the statement, the measures, which are in accordance with the Federal Government’s directive on ways to prevent the spread of Ebola virus, are aimed at safeguarding the health of members.

” We hope that with these preventive pastoral and standard procedures and with prayers and steadfastness in responsible behaviours, the Lord will keep this virus away from us.

“We also encourage personal hygiene, washing of hands regularly, clean environment and eating habits.

“We urge you not to ignore government’s advice and other official statements on how to prevent the outbreak of Ebola virus,”  the statement further read.