–The Rufunsa District Epidemic Preparedness Committee (RDEPC) has observed that the porous nature of Zambia’s borders is posing a real threat to the entry and spread of the Ebola virus into the country.
ZANIS reports that RDEPC chairperson, Paul Kasongo, said Rufunsa District is a busy transit route to East Africa and other neighbouring countries hence the need to screen foreigners entering the country.
Mr Kasongo, who is also Rufunsa District Commissioner, has since implored security wings in the district to enhance both motorised and foot patrols in a bid to curb illegal entry into Zambia.
He further implored security wings to reinforce personnel at Luangwa Bridge Checkpoint aimed at thoroughly screening foreigners into Zambia using the Great East Road.
He said this during the formation of an Adhoc Rufunsa District Ebola Epidemic Preparedness Committee Meeting in his office.
"Although we have not recorded any case of this vicious Ebola virus in our country, it is important that we prevent the disease in our country," he noted.
Mr Kasongo hailed the central government for securing all Zambia’s International Airports and other major entry points as the Ebola virus ravaged some West African countries.
He said it was for this reason that districts like Rufunsa that are transit towns need to consolidate what the central government has done.
Mr Kasongo has directed Rufunsa District Council to find land where a quarantine centre would be setup in case of a detection of the disease.
He also urged Rufunsa residents not to panic as government was doing everything possible to prevent the disease from spreading into the country.
And RDEPC Vice Chairperson, Musanda Siyolwe, said Ebola is a viral disease which is highly infectious with a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.
Dr Siyolwe said for now, there is no known vaccine for the disease though a trial drug has shown positive signs for a possible cure.
"Ebola, if diagnosed early, can be treated like any other virus such as influenza," she said.
She pointed out that the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) recommends supportive therapy by administering liquids, electrolytes, maintaining the patient’s oxygen and blood pressure.
Currently, the disease has ravaged three West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where it has claimed over 1,200 lives.