Minister of Health Dr. Ali Al-Obaidi said Tuesday his ministry has laid stringent preventive measures, policies and mechanisms for combating the fatal Ebola virus disease.
These measures include tightening control on border outlets and ports through the preventive health centers which address any suspected inflection case, the minister told the parliament in response to a question by MP Kamel Al-Awadhi.
"Soon after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the Ebola outbreak in West African countries in last August, the Ministry set up a ministerial higher committee, urgent response teams and taskforces involving various specialists to prevent the spread of the disease to Kuwait," Al-Obaidi said.
"On September 16, 2014, the Ministry's Public Health Department issued the directive No. 3441 defining the Ebola and outlining the measures for dealing with any suspected infection case.
"The directive, being implemented in collaboration with competent state departments, notably the Ministry of Interior, ensures no entry visas for nationals from the Ebola-hit countries," he affirmed.
The minister noted that the mechanisms put in place provide for quarantining any suspected case for 21 days and surveying the persons in close contact with that case.
Any reported case and those in contact with them are referred to Infectious Diseases Hospital as per the provisions of the medical protocol.
"The anti-virus labs of the Public Health Department and the Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, conduct serological tests on possible patients to diagnose the case before taking the next steps.
"Two medical teams are tasked with addressing any reported case; with one tracking down any new cases among the people in contact with the case and another cleansing one to ensure the safety of hospital wards and houses of suspected cases," he went on.
The minister noted that the departments of preventive health, medical emergencies and medical supplies are working together to implement the preventive measures according to the world's latest standards.
In addition, an ad hoc committee has been set up to promote awareness about the disease among medical personnel and the public through a series of lectures, press meetings and a weekly review being issued by the national liaison officer.
The Ministry is in contact with other state departments, including the civil aviation Dept., ports authority, to ensure surveillance over people coming from Ebola-hit countries, Al-Obaidi went on.
He added that the Ministry warned the citizens against unnecessary travel to such countries as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and advised those who are forced to travel to adopt strict preventive measures.