South African Cabinet approves R32.5m to fight Ebola

Over 1000 people have died from the virus in West Africa, according to the World Health Organisation. Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have each declared the outbreak a national disaster.
“South African Cabinet noted with concern the extent of the outbreak and the increase of cases in three of these countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, over the last week.
“Cabinet recognised that even though the outbreak has been limited to these countries in West Africa, the spread to other countries needs to be contained,” said Minister Motsoaledi.
He said Cabinet recognised that containing the outbreak at the source will be essential and limit the spread and mortality caused by the disease to these particular parts of the world.
Countries have been divided into three categories, namely high risk which includes Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, medium risk which includes Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia- although some of them do not have Ebola yet; most people travelling from West Africa to South Africa travel via these countries as well as low risk countries.
“For medium and low risk countries, the normal surveillance that has been going on will just be enhanced.
“There is a special category of individuals who are South Africans but work there in the mines, communications, security and retail. For these groups, we have called a special meeting tomorrow, which will deal with their unique situation,” explained the minister.
He said at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, a decision was taken to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to deal with the coordination of the response.
“Cabinet further approved funding requested by the Department of Health to the tune of R32.5 million, from the African Renaissance Fund to support containment and prevent further spread of the virus to South Africa and other countries.
“Part of the funds will be used to deploy the mobile laboratory in Sierra Leone, fund transport and accommodation for the team and training for health care workers”.