Ethiopian taking measures to avert Ebola spread

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Addis Ababa, 18 August 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopian Airlines issued a notice to passengers and the travelling public on additional precautionary measures it has been taking against the spread of Ebola.

Though the airline does not have direct flights to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the highly affected countries categorized as level 1 alert by the World Health Organization, it has been taking extraordinary and precautionary measures against the outbreak of Ebola, the press release stated.

Accordingly, Ethiopian has been informing passengers on ways of reducing the risk of exposure and preventing the spread of the disease for those traveling from suspected countries.

The airline requires passengers to fill in surveillance forms before boarding for traceability purposes; and precautionary testing is being conducted by health officials on passengers before boarding, the press release added.

Besides, flying crew have been trained to avoid contact with body fluids and have been given necessary protection material such as gloves, sanitizers and masks to be used as required in addition to the awareness they have been given to observe passengers and report any sign of suspected cases.

Travelers from suspected countries are parked separately in a designated parking area and passengers use terminal bus to enter a dedicated gate in the terminal at Addis Ababa Airport hub, the release further indicated.

Additional testing is conducted for possible symptoms by health officials from the Ministry of Health.

Aircraft cleaning and fumigation are being conducted as per international standards and all airlines staff, security officers, immigration controllers and other employees working at Addis Ababa Airport have been briefed on the necessary precautionary measures in their daily activities.

Although no single case has been detected so far, all concerned staff at the airport and hotels in Addis Ababa have been given clear guidelines on how to handle suspected cases, if and when they encounter persons with symptoms of the disease, it was learned.

Air travel is low risk for Ebola transmission and air transport hubs are not high risk for the spread of Ebola, according to World Health Organization. (ENA)