Minister for Health Khagraj Adhikari said government has already put in place control mechanisms to stop the deadly Ebola virus from entering the country.
Seeing that Nepal may also be hit by the deadly virus that has spread out from West Africa, the government has taken all measures to control the spread, Adhikari said, at a Reporters Club Nepal event in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak an international emergency on August 8.
According to Adhikari, the virus may enter Nepal via foreign tourists and from Nepalis returning from West African countries.
The government has decided to place health desks at all border checkpoints.
People who have recently travelled to West African countries will be screened for the disease’s symptoms at the Tribhuvan International Airport, he said.
On behalf of the government, Adhikari also discouraged Nepali nationals from visiting Ebola-affected countries for the time being.
Also speaking at the Reporters Club, civil society leader and senior physician Dr Sundarmani Dixit said the Ebola virus disease is very deadly and the government should take immediate measures for its control. The possibility of Ebola entering Nepal is quite high and if the disease spreads here, Nepal will witness a huge crisis, Dixit said.
Dixit emphasised on the importance of immediate action from the government stating that Ebola demands massive, coordinated response.
WHAT IS EBOLA?
The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a deadly disease transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals and people.
The virus first infected bats and monkeys.
Initial symptoms of the disease include fever, sore throat and diarrhoea.
EVD is often a fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90 percent. On being contaminated by EVD, there is excessive haemorrhaging in different organs, ultimately resulting in death.
Around 1,000 people have died after coming in contact with Ebola virus in Liberia.
Nepal Army personnel are serving in peace missions in Liberia and Ivory Coast. Also, Nepali women work in dance parlours in some West African countries. There is potential danger (in case they get affected) that they may carry the virus home (via air-land routes).
Nepal Army spokesperson Brigadier General Jagdish Chandra Pokharel said that Nepal Army troops serving in different UN missions in West Africa have already been put on high alert.