Thailand ramps up airport checks for Ebola

The Thai government reported it has put its airports on red alert after a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa.

Deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul acknowledged Thailand is aware of the Sudan strain of the Ebola virus discovered in Uganda last month and made known steps are being taken to monitor passengers passing through customs from Africa to stop its spread.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul instructed airport staff to be extra vigilant of incoming passengers arriving on flights from Africa, reported Bangkok Post.

“All travelers arriving from Africa, especially those whose journey began in Uganda, will have to fill in a declaration form at the International Communicable Disease Control checkpoint upon arriving at Thailand’s international airports before they can proceed to the immigration counters.”

The public health minister said he is confident that Thailand will be able to prevent the virus from entering the kingdom.

The World Health Organisation has not declared the current outbreak a public health emergency.

The WHO announced on September 20 that the Uganda health authorities declared an outbreak of Ebola disease, caused by the Sudan virus, following laboratory confirmation of a patient from a village in Madudu sub-county, Mubende district, central Uganda.

Uganda’s health ministry revealed there were 90 confirmed cases and 44 people have died since the first case was detected late last month.

Anutin added…

“The WHO hasn’t declared the outbreak as a PHEIC [public health emergency of international concern] yet, but there will be an assessment of the situation soon.”

“As Ebola is listed as a dangerous communicable disease under the 2015 Communicable Diseases Act, the Department of Disease Control will ramp up safety checks at international checkpoints.”

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals, such as fruit bats, porcupines and non-human primates, and then spreads in the human population through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials, e.g., bedding, clothing, contaminated with these fluids.

News of the outbreak of Ebola will have sent shivers down the spine of Thailand. The news comes as the nation is gently recovering to full health after more than two years of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic.

The recent outbreak of monkeypox looks to have been contained but another potential pandemic would be disastrous for the world.

There’s currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola virus disease, although vaccines and drug therapies are being developed and tested.


Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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