Haj pilgrims tested for Ebola at Jeddah airport

Written by: IANS
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Haj pilgrims tested for Ebola at Jeddah
Jeddah, Sep 22: Haj pilgrims arriving at Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) are being screened, tested and given preventive medication against the Ebola virus, media reported Monday.

Fahd Al-Ghazwi, supervisor of the preventive centre at the airport, said a medical team wearing protective clothing "examines pilgrims who have flown in for Haj, especially pilgrims coming from West Africa", the Arab News reported.

Passengers are required to fill out medical forms and are administered medication as soon as they disembark from their flights.

Abdul Ghani Al-Malki, KAIA's health control centre director, emphasised the need to examine each and every pilgrim entering the Kingdom.

"We are in the process of implementing a drill on how to handle a suspected case of illness or Ebola to ensure that teams are ready to act," Al-Malki said.

Fuad Sindi, medical director of the airport's health control centre, said the medical teams will use thermal cameras and visual observation to detect signs of Ebola.

"A rapid intervention team will be on standby to take any diagnosed case of Ebola directly to the hospital," Al-Malki said.

A traveller who had been suspected of having the Ebola virus was recently transferred to hospital in an ambulance, but tested negative from the disease.

Ahmad Al-Issa, medical services supervisor at the interior ministry, recently inspected health facilities in Makkah, Jeddah and Madina to ensure readiness ahead of the busy season.


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