Health dept activates Ebola response teams

Aaron Motsoaledi says over R30m has been allocated to help contain the spread of the virus in West Africa.

FILE: An MSF medical worker feeds an Ebola child victim at an MSF facility in Kailahun, on 15 August, 2014. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - The Department of Health has activated outbreak response teams as it escalates its efforts to prevent Ebola from entering South Africa.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi made the announcement in Pretoria earlier today following Cabinet's approval of a ban on travel from high-risk countries.

Motsoaledi says non-South African citizens will not be permitted to enter the country from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

More than 1,350 deaths have so far been reported in West Africa.

The department has stepped up surveillance of travellers at ports of entry and the minister says steps have already been taken to ensure health authorities are prepared in the event a patient tests positive.

"Designated health facilities for the treatment of patients, deploy personal protective clothing to designated facilities, activated outbreak response teams and a hotline for clinicians."

The minister says an inter-ministerial committee, led by his department, has been established to coordinate the country's response to the outbreak.

Motsoaledi says more than R30 million has been allocated to help contain the spread of the virus in West Africa.

Travellers from Nigeria, where there is a much smaller outbreak, will be allowed entry.

Video: Ebola travel ban.