ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia has tightened its effort to prevent Ebola virus from entering into the country through airports and border checkpoints.
Last week, the World Health Organization declared Congo’s Ebola outbreak an international health emergency.
The UN health agency sounded a rarely used global alarm after the virus threatened to spread to a major city and into neighboring countries.
Although Ethiopia does not share a border with DR Cong, officials find its flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, daily flight to Congolese city of Goma need proper attention.
Minister of health, Dr. Amir Aman, said the country has already put preventive measures in place at four Ethiopian international airports.
Similar measures are also being taken at 33 border checkpoints located near neighboring nations.
“The Ebola preparedness and response task force continues to take protective measures through screening programs in major points of entry to Ethiopia,” Amir said.
The East African nation had previously deployed 200 health professionals to help Ebola response in West Africa.
The experience would give the country the edge to prevent the epidemic, he said, indicating that the government has already allocated 250 million Birr the effort.
The latest outbreak – the second-largest ever – started in August 2018 and is affecting two provinces in DR Congo, North Kivu, and Ituri.
More than 2,500 people have been infected and two-thirds of them have died.