The Philippines is challenged by the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus due to the health department’s small budget and the few number of isolation rooms prepared nationwide in case it enters the Philippines, sources told tsismosaonline.com, adding that the Philippines is vulnerable because of the impact of free international travel, and the presence of thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the three West Africa countries where the outbreak has already claimed 1,000 lives.
“The number of isolation rooms that were been prepared to handle cases of Ebola virus in the Philippines might not be adequate (in case the virus enter the Philippines),” said Health Undersecretary Janette Garin.
“Being ready for the Ebola virus is such a strong word — although we have experts who can deal with the Ebola problem, including facilities in different parts of the country where we can bring patients afflicted by Ebola virus,” admitted Health Department’s program manager, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.
“The health department has allocated P50 million (Dh4.16 million) for the infectious disease programme,” said Suy, adding, “The allocation is small, but members of congress have agreed to increase the budget ahead of the possible entry of the Ebola virus in the Philippines.”
GREECE WAS TODAY running tests on a man suspected of carrying the Ebola virus.
The Greek man, an architect who had recently travelled to Nigeria, was undergoing tests at an Athens hospital, a health ministry spokesman said.
“It is likely that the man checked himself in,” he said, declining to give further details on the patient or the case.
The ministry had earlier identified the patient as Nigerian.
Another feared Ebola case involving a different Greek who had travelled to Nigeria was investigated earlier this week and turned out to be malaria, he added.
Ebola has claimed at least 932 lives and infected more than 1,700 people since breaking out in west Africa earlier this year, according to the World Health Organisation.
Greece has warned airport and port staff to be vigilant, but the state health organisation Keelpno has insisted that chances of an outbreak in the country are low.