Cyprus Mail

African student tests negative for Ebola (updated)

A 26-year-old student from Africa put in isolation in the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state in the north of the island is not suffering from the deadly Ebola virus.

Health Minister Philippos Patsalis told the Cyprus Mail that he had been informed through the bicommunal technical committee on health issues that the man had tested negative for Ebola.

The Cyprus Mail understands that the 26-year-old is suffering from malaria.

Earlier, reports said the man, from Togo, went to a hospital in Famagusta with high fever and it was decided to transfer him to a hospital in Nicosia where he was placed in quarantine.

He had arrived from Togo 20 days ago. The test results were expected in the next few days.

In the Republic meanwhile, the health ministry said it has taken all necessary measures to tackle any incidents.

The ministry said an action plan has been drafted and instructions have been given to all involved.

If the incident necessitates treatment in an intensive care unit the patients will be transferred to Nicosia or Limassol general hospitals.

Personal protective gear is available in ample quantities in all state hospitals, the ministry said.

And medical staff have been trained how to properly put on and remove their protective suits.

“This exercise has been done repeatedly and will continue to be conducted so that personnel become accustomed in case they need to use them.”

An exercise will take place in the coming days, the ministry said.

Instructions have also been given to personnel working at entry points and there was also a protocol on how to handle a suspicious incident during a flight, the ministry said.

The Republic’s action plan to tackle a potential outbreak of the Ebola virus has also been handed over to the Turkish Cypriot community through the technical committee.

The role of the technical committees, part of the two communities’ confidence building measures, is to facilitate cooperation between the two sides, particularly among public services.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been hardest hit by the disease, and cases have been reported in Senegal and Nigeria.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said Ebola had claimed the lives of 3,879 people from among 8,033 confirmed, probable and suspected cases since it was identified in Guinea in March.

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