NICD team to leave for Ebola mission

The team of highly trained members will be deployed to Sierra Leone with a mobile lab.

FILE: A nurse wears protective clothing as he demonstrates the facilities in place at the Royal Free Hospital in north London on 6 August 2014, in preparation for a patient testing positive for the Ebola virus. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A team of four members from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is preparing to leave South Africa for an Ebola mission in West Africa.

The team of highly trained members will be deployed to Sierra Leone with a mobile lab to conduct tests on suspected Ebola patients.

The virus has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people in West Africa since the outbreak in March.

Professor Janusz Paweska says the team received extensive briefings.

"Our mission is to provide more diagnostic facilities."


Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to do more to fight an Ebola outbreak that has killed 348 people in the West African country.

"I have just urged them [WHO] to increase their responsiveness because of where we are. We need a more robust response to the nature of the disease and the way it is affecting us," he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said a person in South Africa suspected of having the Ebola virus tested negative.

The Democratic Alliance released a statement saying there was a suspected case of the haemorrhagic fever on home soil.

But the minister said this is not true.

Motsoaledi confirmed a woman visited South Africa last month and was scanned.

Although she had no contact with people infected with Ebola, she was placed in isolation out of vigilance.

The minister said the DA then ran to the media while the tests conducted on the patient were still outstanding.

Additional reporting by Reuters.