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Authorities raise Ebola readiness
 (2014-10-22)

By Xu Wei

Health authorities nationwide have been ordered to increase preparations for a possible outbreak of the Ebola virus in China.

In a notice issued on Monday, the National Health and Family Planning Commission required health authorities to take steps that include the establishment of designated hospitals and the storage of drugs, disinfection and hygiene materials related to Ebola.

The commission is also requiring emergency rescue centers nationwide to be prepared to transport infected patients. The centers should prepare the ambulances, isolation devices and disinfection materials for the transportation work, it said.

The health authority also told local authorities to increase interaction with quarantine and civil aviation authorities.

The hospitals that are designated to treat Ebola victims should also establish early-warning procedures and create contingency plans to treat patients, it said. The hospitals should draft plans to protect medical workers from possible infection and reduce the risks of the virus spreading in the hospital.

The Chinese mainland is among the top 30 countries or regions at risk for an Ebola outbreak by Oct 31, according to the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

The lab calculated the possibilities of outbreak by modeling the total number of cases reported by the World Health Organization since Aug 9.

China experienced a brief scare on Oct 17 when a Nigerian attending the China Export and Import Fair in Guangdong province was quarantined at a Guangzhou hospital after showing symptoms of Ebola.

The local health authority announced on Monday that the Nigerian later tested negative for the often-lethal virus.

xuwei@chinadaily.com.cn

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