24 hour Ebola virus monitoring unit at BIA


Chairman Bandaranaike International Airport Prasanna J. Wickremasuriya, Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala and other officials at the opening of the Ebola Emergency Operation Centre at the BIA last week.

By Don Asoka Wijewardena                                                    

A 24-hour Emergency Centre has been set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport to detect to prevent passenger infected with the deadly Ebola virus from entering the country.

 Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala told The Island that Ebola virus had caused a serious health problem in some East African countries as several hundred people had already contracted the deadly disease and many had died of it.

The disease caused high fever and severe internal bleeding and could spread to others through contact with infected body fluids, Dr. Maheepala said.

Travellers from African countries would be especially screened at the Emergency Operation Centre set up at the BIA, said Dr. Maheepala.  Adequate numbers of doctors, nurses and required antibiotics had been provided to it, he added.  If any Ebola infected person was found, he/she would be referred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), he stressed. When a visitor from an African country entered Sri Lanka, the person would be monitored for three weeks to find out whether he or she had contracted the disease.

Dr. Maheepala said that the doctors in all the government hospitals had been trained to attend to the patients suffering from the virus. The Emergency Operation Centre would be in operation round the clock with nurses and an ambulance from the Negombo hospital.

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