Following a Cobra meeting chaired by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, the UK has offered to deploy over 750 military troops and a fully equipped medical ship, RFA Argus, to fight the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Three Merlin helicopters will also be sent to assist the operation in Sierra Leone; with the RFA Argus said to be fully operational with critical care and high-dependency units for Ebola patients.
In her efforts to help out the people of West Africa, the UK government is not taking chances with her own homeland, and the UK’s preparedness to contain the outbreak of the disease was also top agenda at the meeting attended by top government functionaries. Four hospitals in Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, and London have been put on standby to deal with any reported cases of Ebola; while universities and schools have also been warned to be on the lookout for Ebola symptoms in pupils.
And to this end, “the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, and Dr. Paul Cosford (Public Health England) detailed the procedures in place for dealing with any Ebola case in the UK, and the training and preparation that had already taken place with key organisations and staff, including ambulance medics, hospitals, NHS 111, GPs and other key public health workers. The case of Will Pooley had demonstrated the UK’s ability to deal with an identified case without wider infection, with a world-leading specialist unit at The Royal Free,” a Downing Street spokesman stated.
“Contingency planning would continue and will include a national exercise and wider resilience training to ensure the UK is fully prepared. The Chief Medical Officer has now issued further advice to medical professionals across the country and would continue to do so in the coming weeks. Information posters for passengers would be put up in UK airports,” the source further stated.
Since news have further emerged that the UK will be using over 100-strong British military medics to set up Ebola hospital in Sierra Leone, the UK government will be “using British expertise and local building contractors, the UK has committed to build at least five new Ebola Treatment Facilities with a total of 700 beds near urban centres including Port Loko, Freetown and Makeni,” the Downing Street source states.
“The package will help up to nearly 8,800 patients over a six month period. The UK was also supporting infection training for workers and support to ensure burial sites, and the Department for International Development is undertaking a rapid trial of ten local community care units to isolate Ebola cases more quickly, with clinics providing swift and accurate diagnosis and appropriate care. It was agreed (at the Cobra government meeting) that the UK will increase the level of support further. This will include more training capacity, new treatment centres and helicopter support.’
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