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Grenada revises alert on Ebola to 'guarded'

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

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ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC) — Grenada Wednesday said it had raised its alert level to “guarded” following the second largest outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“Represented by the colour blue, the alert level applies when there is a general threat of increased infectious diseases transmission… activity with no specific threat directed toward the country,” a government statement said.

Last month, several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries responded to a warning by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that regional countries should seek to enhance disease surveillance at ports of entry and at health facilities following the categorisation of the current outbreak of the EVD as a public health emergency.

St Lucia and Barbados were among regional countries that have indicated that steps had been taken to ensure that their populations were not put at risk for the disease the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The WHO statement was in reference to the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

Grenada said additional public health threats security measures may be necessary, “and if initiated they should be maintainable for an indefinite period of time with minimum impact on normal business or expenses”.

The statement said local health authorities have agreed that border surveillance, timely and regular information sharing among key taskforce members such as St George's University, Immigration Department, air and seaports officials, will be the key focus areas at this time.

“Public education and awareness will be heightened along with the partial activation of the Ebola Response Plan.”

Health Minister Nickolas Steele is quoted in the statement as informing senior managers that given available resources, they should strive to ensure that the country is in a state of readiness to effectively respond, should it become necessary.

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