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13 nationals from Ebola-hit Liberia cleared in Delhi

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 26, 2014 18:03 IST
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Thirteen Indian nationals, who arrived in Delhi from Liberia on Tuesday, have been cleared after being screened for the Ebola virus, the health ministry said.

According to a statement by Health Ministry, of the 13 passengers who reached at Delhi airport, four belong to Delhi. "All were screened for Ebola and found healthy," said a statement by the health ministry.

They are working with M/s Afcons in Liberia and were brought back by International SOS Organisation on the request of M/s Afcons. These persons have been screened at the time of exit from Liberia and none of the evacuees had any symptoms prior to travel, informed medical director, International SOS.

"Even though developed countries are not screening passengers arriving from Ebola affected countries, as a matter of abundant caution, screening for passengers from affected countries have been put into practice by the government of India," said the statement.

As per the guidelines, the high risk category includes those with symptoms and are isolated at the airport, the medium risk category includes those giving history of contact with an Ebola case. They are prioritised for active surveillance.

People in low risk category are those without symptoms and without any contact history, they are informed about helpline numbers to be contacted in case they developing symptoms subsequently.

The union health ministry has asked the state governments to do rigorous tracking and monitoring of these passengers. The concerned states have been alerted for follow up of these passengers on daily basis.

"No case of Ebola virus disease has been detected in India," reiterated the health ministry. Ebola is not an airborne infection. A person has to come in very close contact with the blood and body fluids of an Ebola Patient to acquire this infection, said officials.  

According to sources at the Delhi airport, passengers coming from infected countries are asked to fill up a form mentioning whether they have shown any symptoms related to Ebola. They are then made to pass through a thermal scanner and anybody who has temperatures above the normal temperature -- showing signs of fever -- are isolated and then taken to hospital for further tests. It is also being checked if a passenger has come in contact with someone who has had Ebola virus disease.

A quarantine-cum-isolation health facility has been set up at the Delhi airport.

Image: Officials quarantine passengers at Delhi airport. Photograph: ANI/Twitter

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