ZAIRE: KINSHASA: EBOLA VIRUS QUARANTINE UNIT

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A hospital in Zaire’s capital is setting up a quarantine unit amidst fears that the deadly Ebola virus could break out in Kinshasa.

The death toll has risen to 77 in the central African country.

Health officials have tracked down two possible carriers of the disease who had fled Kikwit for the capital and they may be the first patients for the new quarantine facility.

Zaire’s capital Kinshasa has a new quarantine ward.

The Ngaliema hospital has cleared out a ward in preparation for the deadly disease spreading to the capital.

The hospital is short of supplies to cope with the disease and even surgical gloves are being reused.

77 people have died from the Ebola virus.

But that number is expected to rise as many people exposed to Ebola have yet to develop its deadly symptoms.

SOUNDBITE:
This place would be the place for the quarantine because the Ebola virus is very dangerous and we want to be sure that people have not the virus. We have to put the suspect person here in the quarantine
SUPER CAPTION: Dr. Maseb a Mwang Sulu , Director Ngaliema Hospital

Hospital workers are shown how to use this sterilising unit and the ward has been completely cleared in preparation for its first patients.

There are facilities for 15 to 20 people.

It’s not the first time that the hospital has treated Ebola victims – in the outbreak of 1976 three people died here.

But the nurses are very reluctant to treat any infectious patients.

SOUNDBITE:
Q: “If there is someone who has Ebola- would you like to take care of them?”
A: “No”
SUPER CAPTION: Nurse

SOUNDBITE:
Q: “And would you like to take care of Ebola victim?”
A: “No”
SUPER CAPTION: Nurse

Officials at the World Health Organisation’s headquarters in Kinshasa are monitoring outbreaks of the disease and have confirmed 17 new cases.

They have tracked down two possible carriers who fled Kikwit for the capital and they may be the first patients in the new quarantine ward.

SOUNDBITE:
There are two cases or two persons necessarily not cases because they are suspected only. There is a nurse that run away from the hospital in Kikwit and a second one who is a captain of a boat. But we hope that in a few days to tell if they are developing really the disease or not.
SUPER CAPTION: Dr. Abdou Moudi, WHO official

Kinshasa has 6 (m) million people and if the virus did arrive it would be difficult to contain.

But some measures have already been taken- all travel agencies have been closed down.

People who would have normally journeyed into the city are now communicating via radio telephone desperately trying to find information about their relatives.

You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/8dfcf5db3b42fdae3e6a652e278586e5
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