Namibia can deal with Ebola: WHO

WINDHOEK; Namibia is fully prepared to cope with any case of Ebola entering the country, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Wednesday.

“We are ready in Namibia. We will do everything to make sure that everybody knows about Ebola. I am absolutely sure we can contain it in Namibia,” said WHO Representative in Namibia, Quazi Islam.

He was speaking during a media dinner organized by the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) on behalf of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT).

Ebola is a viral illness of which the initial symptoms can include a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat.

The current outbreak of the epidemic has claimed nearly 3 000 lives in African countries since early this year.

The WHO said the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Senegal could infect more than 20 000 people before the end of the year.

Closer to home, Zimbabwe has placed close to 100 people under quarantine after they travelled to countries in west Africa affected by the deadly Ebola virus.

The News Day media organization in Zimbabwe on Tuesday said 98 people were placed under quarantine in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. Eighty-four of the 98 people had returned from travels in Nigeria.

Fourty-six have already been discharged after they tested negative for the haemorrhagic fever during their 21-day quarantine.

In the meantime, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Wednesday said the outbreak is an unprecedented crisis.

He was speaking during the UN General Assembly in New York.

“That is why I have established an unprecedented health operation – the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) – to mobilise all the resources needed to reinforce the work being done by the countries and communities affected.

We must also fight the virus of fear and misinformation. Bans on travel or transport will not keep Ebola from getting out, but will keep medical personnel and supplies from getting in. We need to isolate people affected by Ebola – but not the nations struggling to cope with it,” he was quoted as saying in a statement made available to the local media by the UN Information Centre here.

The mission combines the expertise of the WHO with the logistical capacities of the UN. Its headquarters will be in Ghana.

Meanwhile, the Xinhua news agency on Thursday reported that 27 people infected with Ebola at Djera, the epicenter of the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC, have been cured of the disease.