Fijians safe from Ebola virus: Health ministry

Fiji`s health ministry has ruled out any possibility of Ebola outbreak in the island-country because of its geographical location and lack of any direct global trade with West Africa, media reported Monday.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014, 13:20 PM IST

Suva: Fiji`s health ministry has ruled out any possibility of Ebola outbreak in the island-country because of its geographical location and lack of any direct global trade with West Africa, media reported Monday.

A health ministry official told the Fiji Times that the risk of the disease being imported into the country is minimal.

"Fiji`s geographical position as a travellers` hub and its modest health capacity in the south-west Pacific needs the country to set up early measures to mitigate and subdue the prevailing threat of public health emergencies of international and regional concern especially Ebola and polio to Fiji," the official said.

"The ministry acknowledges that if the Ebola virus disease was to enter Fiji, it would do so via an infected person entering the country`s airport, given the efficiency of aviation in moving large numbers of people across borders globally."

However, the ministry is pleading public to hold off travel plans to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal as these are the countries worst affected from Ebola.

According to the World Health Organization, Ebola cases in Africa could reach 20,000 in the next six to nine months.