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Ebola: Motsoaledi to outline plans to protect SA travellers

The measures were approved by Cabinet at its meeting in Cape Town yesterday.

FILE: An MSF medical worker, wearing protective clothing at an MSF Ebola treatment facility in Kailahun, on 15 August 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is due to hold a briefing this afternoon to outline measures in place to protect South African travellers from the Ebola virus.

Since the outbreak in March, the disease has claimed the lives of more than 1,350 people.

The measures were approved by Cabinet at its meeting in Cape Town yesterday.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says more clarity will be provided later today.

"Our country remains committed to providing support to screening and training."

Radebe re-emphasised that no one in South Africa has yet tested positive for Ebola.

Meanwhile, as West Africa battles to contain the Ebola epidemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned there are only one to two doctors available for every 100,000 people in affected countries.

WHO says isolation wards and even hospital capacity for infection control are virtually non-existent in Liberia, Sierre Leone and Guinea.

Who director-general Margaret Chan says the urgent priority now is to change the long-standing funeral practices that involve close contact with those who have died from the virus.

She says a humane world cannot allow the people of West Africa to suffer on such an extraordinary scale.

AMERICAN DOCTOR RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL

An American doctor, who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia, has been released from a US hospital after receiving treatment with an experimental drug, his charity said on Thursday.

Kent Brantly was given ZMapp, a trial drug used on a handful of patients in the West African outbreak, and flown to the US this month.

He was released from Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, according to a statement from Samaritan's Purse.

Yesterday, police in the Liberian capital fired live rounds and tear gas to disperse a stone-throwing crowd trying to break an Ebola quarantine imposed on their neighbourhood.

In the sprawling oceanfront West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia, four people were injured in clashes with security forces, witnesses said.

It was unclear whether anyone was wounded by the gunfire, though a Reuters photographer saw a young boy with his leg largely severed just above the ankle.

Liberian authorities introduced a nationwide curfew on Tuesday and put the West Point neighbourhood under quarantine to curb the spread of the disease.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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