R32 million has been set aside by the South African government to prepare for an Ebola outbreak. Speaking to members of the media in Johannesburg on Friday, Health Minister, Aron Motsoaledi, says there is no Ebola in South Africa, but they are well prepared to deal with it.
Motsoaledi has appointed a ministerial advisory committee on Ebola, comprising of some of the country’s leading medical researchers and academics.
Nine hospitals have been identified to deal with the pandemic should there be a reported case.
Ebola has claimed close to 4 000 lives in West Africa since cases were first reported in December last year.
Meanwhile, a 72 year old man from the North West who was suspected of having Ebola has died. The man was admitted to the Potchefstroom hospital and later transferred to Klerksdorp hospital.
The North West Health department says he was admitted with a high fever and cough and was feeling weak. His admission on Thursday at an isolated ward caused a scare that he might be suffering from Ebola.
Spokesperson for the Health Department in the North West, Tebogo Lekgethwane says, “We send our sincerest condolences to the family. The doctors have explained to us that the deceased had a highly infectious virus as a result of septicaemia which means that his body and immune system was unable to even handle the medication that the doctors were giving the patient.”
Elsewhere in the world, seven more people have been admitted to a Spanish hospital unit monitoring possible Ebola cases where a nurse Teresa Romero, the first person to contract the deadly virus outside West Africa, lay seriously ill on Friday.
Romero was infected in the hospital as she treated two Spanish missionaries who had caught the haemorrhagic fever in West Africa and she remained undiagnosed for days despite reporting her symptoms.
Concern has risen elsewhere in Europe after Macedonia said it was checking for Ebola in a British man who died there on Thursday, although authorities said it was unlikely he had the disease.
A Prague hospital was testing a 56-year-old Czech man with symptoms of the virus.
The Ebola virus causes fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and sometimes internal bleeding, and is spread through direct contact with body fluids