Zim on high Ebola alert

HARARE - Zimbabwe has ratcheted up its safeguards against Ebola, with the country requiring travellers mainly passing through the Mozambique border and other frontiers to undergo enhanced screening for the deadly virus.

This comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed new cases of Ebola infections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Zimbabwe’s Health ministry yesterday announced restrictions on passengers whose trips originated in DRC with immediate effect.

In a memo to stakeholders yesterday, the Manicaland provincial medical directorate said all immigrants will be screened and frisked as they get into Zimbabwe.

“You are therefore urged to be alert; there is need for a combined effort at this point of entry in order to safeguard public health. Notify any suspected cases to health officials.

“Ebola is a highly infectious and fatal viral disease which is easily spread through contact with blood and body secretions of the infected people and animals,” said the directorate.

The directorate said it had received an alert through WHO, which announced that nine suspected cases and three deaths of persons with Ebola virus disease were reported in the Likati health zone, north of the DRC.

It was not immediately clear at the time of going to print how many people enter Zimbabwe on a daily basis at Forbes Border Post.

It is, however, not the first time Zimbabwe has had to prepare for the deadly virus.

This is the eighth Ebola outbreak in the DRC since 1976.

The last outbreak occurred in 2014, with 66 cases and 49 deaths.

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