BEIRUT: Health Minister Wael Abu Faour laid out Thursday the measures to be taken by hospitals, ambulances and at the airport if a person is suspected of carrying the Ebola virus.
According to a statement released by the ministry, the quarantine unit at Rafik Hariri University Hospital will be responsible for receiving suspected cases, while ambulances and the airport will be equipped with the necessary resources to transport the patients.
Hospitals with over 100 beds were also asked to dedicate a special isolated room for suspected cases.
Each hospital will also designate a liaison to report suspected cases to the ministry.
Ebola is not airborne, but spreads through contact with infected bodily fluids.
The Health Ministry’s plan follows safeguards put in place by other government bodies.
The Agriculture Ministry last week banned the import of live animals from African where the presence of Ebola has been confirmed.
The ban applies to all live animals, but the ministry named chimpanzees, gorillas, bats, monkeys, forest antelope, porcupines or any animal suspected of being a carrier of the disease. Ebola has been known to spread to humans from bats and primates.
For some weeks, the Beirut airport has been scanning and reporting passengers who display symptoms associated with the disease, while the Labor Ministry suspended work permits for people coming from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to combat the outbreak.
The World Health Organization said Friday that the epidemic was an "extraordinary event" and constituted an international health risk.
The agency said the possible consequences of further international spread of the outbreak, which has killed almost 1,000 people in four West African countries, were "particularly serious" in view of the virulence of the virus.
"A coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola," the WHO said in a statement after a two-day meeting of its emergency committee.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have declared a state of emergency while Spain said it was treating an elderly priest who contracted the disease while helping patients in Liberia.