UK for­eign sec­re­tary warns of Ebola threat

Viet Nam News - - World -

LON­DON — The Ebola out­break in west Africa poses a “very se­ri­ous threat ” to Bri­tain, For­eign Sec­re­tary Philip Ham­mond said yes­ter­day, as Eng­land ’ s pub­lic health au­thor­ity warned the virus was out of con­trol.

Ham­mond was to chair a meet­ing of CO­BRA, the govern­ment’s cri­sis re­sponse com­mit­tee, to as­sess Bri­tain’s prepa­ra­tions to cope with any pos­si­ble out­break of the dis­ease.

One person in Bri­tain has been tested for Ebola, the De­part­ment of Health ( DoH) min­istry con­firmed, but the tests proved neg­a­tive.

Re­ports sug­gested he had trav­elled from west Africa to cen­tral Eng­land.

Health pro­fes­sion­als have been warned to be vig­i­lant for signs of the deadly virus.

“As far as we are aware, there are no Bri­tish na­tion­als so far af­fected by this out­break and cer­tainly no cases in the UK, ” Ham­mond told Sky News tele­vi­sion.

“How­ever, the prime min­is­ter does re­gard it as a very se­ri­ous threat and I will be chair­ing a CO­BRA meet­ing later to­day to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and look at any mea­sures that we need to take ei­ther in the UK, or in our diplomatic posts abroad in order to man­age the threat.

Dr Brian McCloskey, direc­tor of global health at Pub­lic Health Eng­land (PHE), said the body was closely mon­i­tor­ing de­vel­op­ments in west Africa.

“It’s clear the out­break is not un­der con­trol,” he said in a state­ment.

“The con­tin­u­ing in­crease in cases, es­pe­cially in Sierra Leone, and the im­por­ta­tion of a sin­gle case from Liberia to Nige­ria, is a cause for con­cern, as it in­di­cates the out­break is not yet un­der con­trol. We will con­tinue to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and pro­vide sup­port as re­quired.

Pan-African air­line ASKY sus­pended all flights to and from the cap­i­tals of Liberia and Sierra Leone over the wors­en­ing Ebola health cri­sis, as the Liberian foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion said it halted all ac­tiv­i­ties in the coun­try.

The LFA de­cided “to cease op­er­a­tions of foot­ball ac­tiv­i­ties con­sid­er­ing that foot­ball matches are con­tact sports and Ebola is spread through body con­tacts with an in­fected person”, LFA chief Musa Bil­ity said in a state­ment on Tues­day.

Mean­while the fi­nance min­istry in Liberia, where 127 peo­ple have died of the dis­ease, said it had placed sev­eral se­nior officials un­der ob­ser­va­tion for three weeks af­ter a top min­istry of­fi­cial died from the virus.

Pa­trick Sawyer was on of­fi­cial busi­ness in Nige­ria last week when he con­tracted the dis­ease. —

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