24-hour emergency helpline set up to fight Ebola threat in India

Written by Express news service | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 9 2014, 18:31pm hrs
The Centre on Friday announced opening a 24-hour emergency helpline centre in a bid to thwart threat from Ebola virus after the World Health Organisation issued a global health alert due to the EVD outbreak. The emergency centre will be operational from Saturday.

The WHO in its official declaration said that the outbreak of Ebola disease virus (EVD) in a few west African nations was the most complex outbreak leading to public health emergency.

In Delhi, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital has been identified for treatment and management of any case of EVD.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, however, said there was no reported case in India and one traveller, who landed in New Delhi on July 20 and was confirmed by the WHO as a case of EVD, was found to be healthy. He had been traced to Dwarka.

There is no cause for panic. We have put in operation the most advanced surveillance and tracking systems, he announced. The helpline numbers are (011)-23061469, 3205 and 1302.

Till August 4, the WHO said 1,711 people have been infected, of whom 932 have died. The four countries affected most by the virus are Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

A mechanism has been worked out in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Home Affairs for information on travellers to India from the affected countries.

Flight passengers have been asked to declare through health cards their movement in the recent past and their addresses in India. Surveillance has also being strengthened at the sea ports.

Estimated 47,000 Indians in the affected countries were being contacted by the Indian missions and supplied all didactic material so as to create awareness about prevention and self-reporting measures.